First Hudson Yards Tower Opens in NYC West Side Milestoneby
Coach moves into new headquarters at Related’s 10 Hudson Yards
Development bringing office workers to a once-desolate area
The first skyscraper at Related Cos.’s $25 billion Hudson Yards project opened Tuesday after three and a half years of construction, bringing office workers to a once-desolate area of Manhattan’s far west side that’s now transforming into a new business enclave.
About 300 employees of Coach Inc. moved into new headquarters at 10 Hudson Yards, where the luxury-handbag maker will soon be joined by tenants including L’Oreal USA, SAP AG, VaynerMedia and Boston Consulting Group. The 52-story tower at 10th Avenue and West 30th Street, designed by the architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, is fully leased.
The milestone is just the beginning for Related, which wants to keep tenant momentum going as it pushes ahead with the rest of its 28-acre (11.3-hectare) project and competitors plan their own skyscrapers nearby. Related was the pioneer in the area with Hudson Yards, which it calls the biggest private real estate development in U.S. history. It will ultimately contain some 17.6 million square feet (1.6 million square meters) of buildings and 14 acres of open space, most of it built over rail yards leased from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
“The best is yet to come, but this is pretty good,” Stephen Ross, Related’s chairman, said at an event celebrating the opening of 10 Hudson Yards. “When you think about a project and you see it come into fruition, it’s very exciting.”
Jeff Blau, Related’s chief executive officer, said he’s looking ahead to the challenge of completing the rest of the project’s first phase, mostly on a platform above the eastern section of the rail yards. Planning is under way for a 13-acre section to the west, Blau said in a phone interview last week.
The tower at 10 Hudson Yards, built first because it didn’t require a platform, “is the most spectacular office building in New York City,” Blau said last week. “There is nothing that looks like this. It’s a full transformation of the west side of Manhattan.”
Coach’s space at the tower, totaling about 700,000 square feet, includes a design studio, a private cafeteria, a large open-air terrace and what it calls the “Heritage Room,” a gathering spot for as many as 250 people. The tower’s lobby showcases more than a hundred purses along with a video wall flashing product designs.
“Relative to where we’ve been, we’re obviously in a much more open space, a light and airy glass tower,” Coach CEO Victor Luis said at Tuesday’s event. “It’s a very different working environment from where we’ve been, which will allow for much more collaboration amongst and between teams, some of which have been working until now in different buildings.”
With about 1,200 Coach employees eventually enjoying the 360-degree views of the city and across the Hudson, Luis said he wasn’t worried about employees staring out the windows instead of working. “An occasional daydream, if it leads to creativity, may not be such a bad thing.”
The High Line, a public park built atop an abandoned railroad trestle that winds to the south, makes a western turn through the base of the skyscraper. All the building’s tenants -- about 7,000 people total -- will be moved in by year’s end, according to Blau.
Just north of Coach’s building, the larger 30 Hudson Yards is rising, set to become the new home of Time Warner Inc. Last month, Related announced an agreement with the law firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP for space at 55 Hudson Yards, one of two additional skyscrapers planned for the project’s eastern phase. A deal would bring that 1.3 million-square-foot tower to about 26 percent leased. For the rest of 55 Hudson Yards, “there are more term sheets out than we have square footage,” Blau said. “That building will be leased in no time.”
Tenants are already expressing interest in the skyscraper planned for 50 Hudson Yards, which is planned for the site now occupied by Coach’s old headquarters, according to Ross.
Related will be competing with other developers working to make over the former industrial district west of Eighth Avenue, from 28th to 42nd streets. Brookfield Property Partners LP is building its Manhattan West project, where the law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP will relocate from its longtime headquarters at 4 Times Square. Tishman Speyer has sites for two skyscrapers, including one that would be the largest in the area, designed by Bjarke Ingels. Moinian Group has started work on 3 Hudson Boulevard, adjacent to the new No. 7 subway terminus.
The westward expansion of Midtown’s central business district was one of former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s prime policy objectives. The ex-mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.