NYC High Line Completion; Sooner Than Expected

The future of the final section of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yard took a major step forward yesterday.  Mayor Bloomberg announced that for the first time, all stakeholders have now publicly stated their commitment to preserving and transforming the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, including the spur over 10th Avenue, into public space.  The project will be implemented as soon as possible.  It will also be accompanied by a large scale development, that will surely anchor the park at its northern end as well as encourage future large development projects in the neighborhood.

Funds have already come in from The Diller–Von Furstenberg Family Foundation of $20 million and $5 million from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation to give the project a head start.

The announcement made public a lease agreement between the Related Companies and Coach.  The New York-based retail company, which is currently based on West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, plans to occupy 600,000 square feet of office space within a new building to be built at the northwest corner of 10th Avenue and West 30th Street.  The Related Companies will begin construction of the building in 2012, effectively breaking ground on the planned development for the Hudson Yards.

Kohn Pederson Fox Associates will be designing the 51-story LEED Gold tower that will not only be a giant retail center, but the largest commercial building in New York with Coach as its prominent tenant.  The complex however will not be open until 2015, possibly a few years after the completion of the high line.

The new retail building will be part of a total redevelopment of the area surrounding the High Line to the waterfront.  The area will gain 5,000 affordable apartments, 6 million square feet of office space, a luxury hotel, a public school and a cultural facility.  A new park, called Hudson River Boulevard Park, will also occupy the area, giving 14 acres of public space that will complement the High Line.

The extension of the 7 train opening in 2013 will allow West Chelsea to be easily accessible and linked to 33rd Street and 42nd Street by a quick train ride.  The retail center will be one of many new mixed use buildings that will transform the disused Hudson Yards into a waterfront neighborhood with access to parks, bike paths, shops, and entertainment.