METROFOCUS: MARCH 14, 2019

An intimate profile of the real estate developer whose vision has finally become a reality. From across the Hudson, Manhattan will never again look the same. The story behind our new skyline. What will Hudson Yards’ financial impact be on Manhattan’s skyrocketing real estate market?

Aired on March 14, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT A SPECIAL EDITION OF 'METROFOCUS,' INSIDE NEW YORK'S NEWEST NEIGHBORHOOD, HUDSON, NEW YORK.

IN MOMENTS AN INTIMATE PROFILE OF THE DEVELOPER WHOSE VISION BECAME A REALITY.

AN UP-CLOSE VIEW OF THE CITY'S NEW SKYLINE AND THE BRILLIANCE THAT VUNS ITS TOWERS OF GLASS AND STEEL.

THE YARD'S INCREDIBLE AND ARTISTIC VESSEL, AN IMPRESSIVE UNDERTAKING ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING A MUST-SEE SITE IN MANHATTAN.

THE OBSERVATION DECK THAT LITERALLY LOOKS LIKE EVERYTHING AND IS LIKE NOTHING BUILT IN THIS CITY BEFORE.

AND THE HOUSING MARKET, FROM RENTAL PROPERTIES TO PURCHASES, THE YARD'S IMPACT ON SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOODS AND WHY THE COMMUNITY'S NEW RITZY MALL MAY NOT BE A DRAW AT ALL.

YOUR INSIDE LOOK AT THE METAMORPHOSIS OF THIS MASSIVE METROPOLIS IS UNDER WAY AS 'METROFOCUS' INSIDE THE HUDSON YARDS STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRILL TISCH.

THE ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ.

RECOGNITION LIN P. WALTER.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

IT'S BILLED AS THE LARGEST PRIVATE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY.

THE CITY'S NEXT ROCKEFELLER CENTER.

TONIGHT WE'RE TAKING YOU TO HUDSON YARDS FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT THE FIRST PHASE OF THIS SPRAWLING DEVELOPMENT ON THE CITY'S FAR WEST SIDE.

AS THE FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF RELATED COMPANIES, STEVEN ROSS IS THE MAN BEHIND IT ALL.

THE BILLIONAIRE MANY TIMES OVER IS AMONG THE RICHEST AND MOST POWERFUL DEVELOPERS IN THE CITY WITH A PORTFOLIO THAT INCLUDES THE TIME WARNER CENTER IN COLUMBUS CIRCLE, AND NOW HUDSON YARDS, A PROJECT ALREADY CRITICIZED AS A PLAYGROUND FOR THE RICH.

IN AN ARTICLE TITLED 'THE ONLY MAN WHO COULD BUILD OZ,' 'NEW YORK' MAGAZINE CHRONICLED ROSS' FASCINATING RISE AS A SUPER-DEVELOPER AS WELL AS HIS RELENTLESS CAMPAIGN TO TRANSFORM HUDSON YARDS FROM RAIL YARD TO SPECTACULAR REALITY.

JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT ALL THAT IS THE AUTHOR OF THE PIECE 'NEW YORK' MAGAZINE EDITOR AT LARGE CARL SWANSON.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

FIRST OF ALL, YOU SPOKE TO STEVEN ROSS IN THE COURSE OF WRITING THE ARTICLE, OF COURSE.

YOU ALSO TOOK A TOUR OF HUDSON YARD BEFORE ITS OFFICIAL OPENING.

WHAT STRUCK YOU DURING THIS BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK THAT YOU FOUND PARTICULARLY SURPRISING OR PARTICULARLY INTERESTING?

THE FIRST TIME I MET HIM WAS A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCED THEY WERE GOING TO BUILD WHAT THEY CALL THE VESSEL RIGHT NOW.

THIS ENORMOUS STRUCTURE OF STAIRCASES THAT THEY PUT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.

HE WOULD SAY -- AND I WAS CURIOUS ABOUT IT, IT SEEMED LIKE AN ODD THING TO DO.

IN SOME WAYS IT TELLS YOU THE STORY OF THE ENTIRE DEVELOPMENT WHICH IS, YOU ARE GOING TO BUILD AN ENORMOUS, EXPENSIVE OFFICE, RETAIL, RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN A PLACE WHERE NO ONE REALLY LIVES.

A PLACE NO ONE WOULD THINK OF GOING TO.

NOT ONLY BECAUSE THERE WERE TRAINS THERE BUT ALSO BECAUSE IT WAS UNPLEASANT.

FOR MOST NEW YORKERS, THE WEST SIDE ENDS LIKE AT NINTH AVENUE.

ABSOLUTELY, MAYBE EIGHTH.

SO HE CAME IN THERE, AND HE SAID, OKAY, WHAT'S GOING TO BRING PEOPLE TO THIS, WHAT'S GOING TO MAKE PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THIS?

WE'RE GOING TO SPEND $200 MILLION.

WITHIN THE BUDGET OF THIS THING TO BUILD BUILD WHAT HE CALLED A ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE 365 DAYS A YEAR.

THE REASON I WAS EXCITED ABOUT DOING THIS FOLLOW-UP STORY CLOSE TO THE OPENING OF IT WAS HE'S A GUY WHO FIGURES OUT, HE'S NOT JUST BUILDING A BUILDING, HE'S BUILDING AN IDEA.

THE REASON THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IT NOW, IT'S NOT JUST THAT IT'S ONE OF THE BIGGEST REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WORLD.

CERTAINLY THE BIGGEST IN THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW.

BUT BECAUSE IT JUST DOES SOMETHING THAT IS SO BEYOND WHAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD EVEN THINK WAS POSSIBLE.

BUT IT'S AN IDEA, IT'S SOMETHING THAT MANY CRITICS, INCLUDING ONE OF YOUR COLLEAGUES AT 'NEW YORK' MAGAZINE KIND OF CHARACTERIZE AS A FORT RECESS CITY-STATE WITHIN THE CITY FOR RICH PEOPLE, WILLFULLY SEPARATING ITSELF FROM NEW YORK'S HOI POLLOI, FROM THE COMMONERS.

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THAT?

WELL, I THINK THAT -- I MEAN, TO SOME EXTENT THEY DO COMPLETELY COP TO THAT, THEY CALL IT A CITY WITHIN A CITY.

WHEN I TALK TO STEVE ROSS, HE LIVES RIGHT NOW IN KIND OF A SMALLER -- HE CALLS ATE TEST RUN FOR THIS, WHICH IS COLUMBUS CIRCLE.

THAT'S THE TIME WARNER CENTER WHICH IS ONE OF THE FIRST LARGE-SCALE, MULTI-USE BUILDINGS IN THE COUNTRY.

APPARENTLY IT'S PRETTY COMMON TO DO THIS IN AIR SIA AND OTHER PA OF THE WORLD.

BUT HERE THAT'S THE FIRST TIME ANYONE'S REALLY DONE IT.

HE LIVES THERE AND HE EATS THERE AND HIS OFFICES ARE THERE AND HE WORKS OUT THERE AT THE EQUINOX.

THEY ALSO OWN OAEQUINOX.

IF HE WANTS TO SHOP AT WHOLE FOODS HE COULD.

THE IDEA IS YOU WOULD HAVE, AS HE PUT IT, EVERYTHING AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO LEAVE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO.

THAT'S KIND WHAT WAS HE'S BUILDING THERE BUT A BIGGER VERSION OF THAT.

AND ONE COULD ARGUE, AND I THINK -- I LIVE IN EAST VILLAGE, A WALK-UP BUILDING.

I HAVE TO GO DOWNSTAIRS TO GET ANYTHING.

I LIKE THAT.

I LIKE THAT SORT OF IDEA OF -- I GUESS THAT JAMES JACOBS IDEA OF THE MIX OF PEOPLE AND -- BUT THAT'S NOT EVERYONE'S IDEA OF WHAT NEW YORK CITY IS.

AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S NECESSARILY WHAT THE IDEA -- IT'S CERTAINLY NOT WHAT STEVE ROSS' IDEA OF NEW YORK CITY IS AND I DON'T THINK YOU COULD ARGUE THAT IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT THE BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION WAS TRYING TO DO.

NO, I DON'T THINK SO, RIGHT?

SO YOU DESCRIBE ROSS AS POSSIBLY THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN NEW YORK TODAY.

AND YOU CALL HIM QUOTE A ROBERT MOSES FOR OUR AGE OF CONCIERGE MEGA-URBANNISM.

FIRST OF ALL, WHAT IS CONCIERGE MEGA-URBANNISM AND WHY IS HE SO POWERFUL?

VERY POWERFUL I THINK BECAUSE HE ACTUALLY -- FOR ONE THING BECAUSE HE CAN GET THINGS DONE.

AND HE'S WILLING TO DO THINGS A LOT OF OTHER DEVELOPERS AREN'T WILLING TO DO.

ONE OF THE SORT OF SUBTEXTS THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVEN'T REALLY PAID ATTENTION TO WITH HUDSON YARDS IS THAT HE'S BEEN -- HAD A VERY AGGRESSIVE STANCE TOWARD THE UNIONS.

THE UNIONS ARE VERY POWERFUL BUT THEY'RE WILLING TO GO UP AGAINST THE UNIONS.

A LOT OF DEVELOPERS WON'T DEAL WITH THAT.

A LOT OF DEVELOPERS WON'T DEAL WITH SORT OF LIKE THE VARIOUS THINGS -- THE VARIOUS AGENDAS OF THE CITY.

HE'S VERY CLOSE TO DAN DOCTOROFF, THE DEPUTY MAYOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

UNDER BLOOMBERG.

AND REALLY, HE'S KNOWN HIM SINCE THEY WERE BOTH PART OWNERS OF THE ISLANDERS IN THE 1990s.

THEY'RE BOTH FROM MICHIGAN.

HE'S A MICHIGAN GUY.

HE LOVES MICHIGAN GUYS.

AND SO THIS IDEA, THIS IDEA THAT THIS TRAIN YARD AND THIS AREA COULD BE THIS SERIES OF BIG GLASS TOWERS FOR FIRST CLASS CORPORATIONS AND WEALTHY PEOPLE AND, YOU KNOW, SOME AFFORDABLE HOUSING TUCKED IN THERE TOO, IS VERY MUCH A BLOOMBERG IDEA, VERY MUCH A DAN DOCTOROFF IDEA.

DAN WILL TELL YOU, HE'S SAID THIS TO MANY PEOPLE, ONLY STEVE ROSS COULD GET THIS DONE.

AS YOU'RE WRITING YOUR ARTICLE, HUDSON YARDS IS GETTING $5.6 BILLION OF TAXPAYER MONEY.

YES.

AS YOU JUST SAID, YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES STEVEN ROSS MIXES IT UP WITH THE UNIONS.

EXACTLY.

HE'S NOT THAT FRIENDLY TO THE UNIONS.

HOW COME THERE WASN'T A HUE AND CRY ABOUT THE HUDSON YARDS AS THERE WAS ABOUT AMAZON?

I THINK TWO REASONS.

ONE IS THE KIND OF SUBSIDIES THEY GOT.

AND THAT'S BECAUSE A LOT OF THE MONEY WENT TO THE EXTENSION OF THE 7 TRAIN.

IT'S HARD FOR ANYONE REALLY TO OBJECT TO THE IDEA OF MORE SUBWAYS.

THE SECOND THING IS I THINK IT'S A DIFFERENT ERA.

IT REALLY WAS -- IT WAS THE HEIGHT OF THE BLOOMBERG ERA WHEN THIS HAPPENED.

PEOPLE WERE NOT AS CRITICAL OF THESE THINGS.

THERE'S ALWAYS BEEN CRITICISM OF SUBSIDIES, ESPECIALLY THINGS LIKE STADIUMS AND THINGS LIKE THAT, IN DID THIS CITY.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUBSIDIES?

PEOPLE HAVE NOT BEEN AS CRITICAL.

I GET IT.

SO WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT 30 SECONDS LEFT.

15 YEARS FROM NOW, 20 YEARS FROM NOW, ARE NEW YORKERS GOING TO SEE HUDSON YARDS AS THIS FORTRESS FOR RICH PEOPLE THAT'S TURNING ITS BACK ON US?

OR ARE NEW YORKERS GOING TO SEE IT WITH INDIFFERENCE?

OR MAYBE A LITTLE BIT OF PRIDE?

WHAT'S YOUR BEST GUESS?

IT'S FUNNY.

I WAS DOING RESEARCH ABOUT ROCKEFELLER CENTER, EVERYONE LOVES ROCKEFELLER CENTER NOW.

WHEN IT WAS FIRST BUILT, IT WAS CRITICIZED BY A LOT OF PEOPLE FOR BEING TOO OPULENT, SORT OF THIS MONUMENT TO WEALTH, TO THE ROCKEFELLERS.

YES.

NOW I'M NOT SAYING THIS IS AS GOOD A PIECE OF URBANNISM OF THATRESS IF YOU WALK AROUND ROCKEFELLER CENTER, YOU CAN'T BELIEVE THE SCALE OF IT, HOW BEAUTIFULLY IT'S PUT TOGETHER.

IT IS TRUE THAT PEOPLE DO GET USED TO THINGS.

EIFFEL TOWER.

I MEAN, YOU THINK OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER, NOT EXACTLY THE MOST BELOVED THING WHEN IT OPENED.

IT'S INTERESTING.

YOU DO SORT OF GET USED TO IT AND IT BECOMES PART OF --

YOU THINK WE'LL GET TO LOVE IT?

I THINK -- YES.

I THINK YOU'LL JUST SEE IT AS BEING A PART OF THE CITY.

AND EVEN IF IT DOES EMBODY SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T REALLY -- ISN'T FOR YOU, IT ALSO -- YOU'LL JUST SORT OF, I THINK, ACCEPT IT.

YEAH, OKAY.

ALL RIGHT, CARL, THANKS SO MUCH.

> PHASE ONE OF NEW YORK CITY'S LARGEST DEVELOPMENTS SINCE ROCKEFELLER CENTER OPENS TO THE PUBLIC.

WHEN COMPLETED, HUDSON YARDS, A COMPLEX CREATED BY RELATED COMPANIES AND CODEVELOPER OXFORD PROPERTIES GROUP, WILL COVER 28 ACRES OF THE WEST SIDE WITH HOUSING, RETAIL, RESTAURANTS, PUBLIC SPACE, AND MORE, MAKING IT A GAME-CHANGER IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.

RELATED HUDSON YARDS PRESIDENT JAY CROSS SPOKE WITH US ABOUT THE PROJECT AND HOW IT WILL SHAPE THE CITY.

HUDSON YARDS MAY BE NEW YORK CITY'S SHINY NEW PLAYGROUND BUT IT STORY BEGINS IN THE MID 1980s.

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD WAS EXPANDING WESTWARD IN THE CITY TO CREATE ESSENTIALLY A PARKING LOT FOR ITS TRAINS.

THE WEST SIDE YARD.

PRESIDENT OF RELATED HUDSON YARDS, JAY CROSS.

SO THE YARD, WHEN IT WAS BUILT IN THE '80s, VERY CLEVERLY, RICH RAVAGE WAS CHAIRMAN OF MTA AT THE TIME, SAID SOMEDAY SOMEBODY WILL WANT TO BUILD OVER THESE YARDS.

THEY SPACED THE TRACKS IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE COULD COME 40, 50 YEARS LATER AND PUT ALL OUR CAISSONS DOWN BETWEEN THE TRACKS AND THEN BUILD A TABLETOP ON TOP OF THE CAISSONS.

IT TOOK 200 CAISSONS, TO BE EXACT.

THEY SUPPORT A PLATFORM HOLDING THE FIRST PHASE OF THIS HUDSON YARDS PROJECT CALLED THE EASTERN YARDS.

THE SECOND PHASE, THE WESTERN YARDS, WILL BE COMPLETED IN THE NEXT SIX TO TEN YEARS.

IT WILL BE BUILT ON TOP OF ANOTHER PLATFORM COVERING THE RAIL YARD BETWEEN 11th AVENUE AND THE WEST SIDE HIGHWAY.

THIS STRETCH OF MANHATTAN, 28 ACRES THAT FALL IN THE BROADER 360-ACRE HUDSON YARDS DISTRICT, IS LARGELY UNUTILIZED.

MOST OF THE LAND ON WHICH THE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT, RELATED HUDSON YARDS, IS BUILT AND WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD, WAS OCCUPIED BY TRAIN TRACKS.

THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE LEFT.

BECAUSE OF THE INDUSTRIAL LEGACY OF THE RAILROADS.

THERE WAS HELL'S KITCHEN TO THE NORTH, CHELSEA TO THE SOUTH, A BIG HOLE IN THE DOUGHNUT.

CROSS SAYS IN A VERY MATURE CITY LIKE NEW YORK IT'S HARD TO ASSEMBLE THIS MANY ACRES OF AVAILABLE LAND.

A PROJECT LIKE RELATED HUDSON YARDS RELIES ON THERE BEING OLD INFRASTRUCTURE AVAILABLE FOR REDEVELOPMENT.

CANARY WHARF BUILT ON LONDON'S DOCK LANDS.

HE SAYS THIS MIGHT AN TREND.

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, 50% OF THE POPULATION IN THE WORLD LIVE IN CITIES.

THAT'S GOING TO PUT MORE PRESSURE ON CITIES, PARTICULARLY MATURE CITIES.

I THINK YOU'LL SEE MORE PROJECTS LIKE HUDSON YARDS.

THEY'RE A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO PUT TOGETHER LIKE UNICORNS.

THEY RELY HEAVILY ON PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS INCLUDING THE BUILDING-OUT OF INFRAS INFRASTRUCTURE, I.E., EXTENSION OF THE 7 TRAIN, AND BUY-IN FROM RETAIL BUSINESSES AND CORPORATIONS WILLING TO RELOCATE REIN THE WAKE OF AMAZON'S MOVE TO LONG ISLAND FALLING THROUGH LARGELY DUE TO PUSHBACK OVER TAX BREAKS, THERE'S A STUDY SHOWING THE CITY OFFERED $5.7 BILLION IN INVESTMENTS AND TAX BREAKS.

ACCORDING TO COAUTHOR OF THE STUDY BRIDGET FISHER THIS $5.7 BILLION WENT TO THE HUDSON YARDS DISTRICT FOR INVESTMENT IN THE EXTENSION OF THE 7 TRAIN, A NEW PARK, A NEW PUBLIC SCHOOL, AND TAX BREAKS FOR COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPERS.

$685 MILLION WENT TO SITES INVOLVED DIRECTLY WITH RELATED HUDSON YARDS.

IT'S STILL A HEFTY PRICE TAG BUT THAT HE BELIEVES WILL FUNNEL BACK TO THE CITY IN GDP, TAXES, AND JOBS.

CROSS BELIEVES THE INCENTIVES HELPED COURT COMPANIES TO RELOCATE TO HUDSON YARDS, A NECESSITY IN HIS EYES TO DEVELOP THE NEW NEIGHBORHOOD'S ECOSYSTEM.

IF YOU HAVE ONLY ONE USE, SAY OFFICE, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A DEAD NEIGHBORHOOD AT NIGHT.

IF YOU DENSIFY WITH RESIDENTIAL, YOU'RE NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO BE HUMMING DURING THE BUSINESS DAY.

I THINK IT'S THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF USES IS REALLY WHAT CREATES A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD.

THAT MIXED-USE CITY WITHIN A CITY APPEAL IS ON FULL DISPLAY IN A COMMERCIAL FOR HUDSON YARDS.

A PLACE DESIGNED FOR HARMONY.

TO FEED OUR ASPIRATIONS AND NOURISH OR SOULS AND OUR BODIES.

IMAGINEA PLACE THAT REFLECTS THE SPIRIT OF CREATIVITY, THE PROMISE OF TECHNOLOGY, FULL OF LUXURY AND STYLE.

SEAMLESSLY CONNECTED TO THE FUTURE OF FASHION, FOOD, ART, ENTERTAINMENT, AND BUSINESS.

GARNERING A FAIR SHARE OF THE HUDSON YARDS BUZZ ARE TWO ATTRACTIONS, THE SHED AND THE VESSEL.

THE SHED AT 200,000 SQUARE FOOT ART SPACE SHOWCASING EVERYTHING FROM VISUAL ART AND DIGITAL MEDIA TO DANCE, CLASSICAL MUSIC, HIP-HOP, IS SET TO OPEN IN EARLY APRIL.

THE BUILDING IS MOST NOTABLE FOR ITS RETRACTABLE SHELL THAT COVERS THE ADJOINING PLAZA AND CAN MOVE BACK TO OPEN UP OUTDOOR SPACE.

I THINK IT'S REALLY GOING TO PUTUS ON THE CULTURAL MAP YET AGAIN FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY UNIQUE TO NEW YORK.

THE VESSEL STANDING AS THE DEVELOPMENT'S CENTERPIECE IS A GIANT SCULPTURE CREATED BY DESIGNER THOMAS HEATHERWICK AND HIS STUDIO.

IT'S COMPRISED OF 154 INTERLOCKING FLIGHTS OF STAIRS, OFFERING DIFFERENT VIEWS OF THE CITY.

BEYOND THE TOURISM-GRABBING LANDMARKS, RELATED HUDSON YARDS CAN FUNCTION AS A COMMUNITY UNTO ITSELF.

THE REAL ESTATE PROJECT HAS ITS OWN GROCERY STORE, 25 RESTAURANTS AND FOOD CONCEPTS, A HOTEL, AND WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE ITS OWN PUBLIC SCHOOL.

BUT CONVENIENCE COMES AT A COST.

APARTMENTS START AT $4 MILLION TO BUY AND $5,000 A MONTH TO RENT.

THE SHOPS AT HUDSON YARDS BOAST SEVERAL LUXURY STORES IN ADDITION TO MORE MAINSTREAM STORES LIKE SEPHORA AND ZARA.

FOR SOME THIS LUXURY-ORIENTED LIFESTYLE HAS GIVEN HUDSON YARDS THE VIBE OF A PLAYGROUND FOR THE WEALTHY BUT CROSS DOESN'T SEE IT THAT WAY.

NO, I SEE IT AS AN EXTENSION OF NEW YORK.

JUST THIS WEEK IT WAS PUBLISHED THAT LONDON JUST PASSED NEW YORK AS THE WEALTHIEST CITY IN THE WORLD.

SO WE ARE WHAT WE ARE.

THAT'S NEW YORK.

BUT I THINK WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF WHAT WE'RE OFFERING NEW YORKERS, WE'VE GOT EVERYTHING, ALL SORTS OF FOOD OF OFFERINGS, AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS, 100 OF THEM ALREADY, 300 MORE STILL TO BUILD.

SO I THINK IN EVERY RESPECT WE'RE TRYING TO BUILD HUDSON YARDS AS A PLACE FOR ALL NEW YORK RESPECT.

THAT MEANS THAT WHILE HUDSON YARDS IS FAIRLY SELF-SUFFICIENT, IT WAS IMPORTANT TO THE RELATED TEAM TO CONNECT THE COMPLEX BACK TO THE CITY.

HUDSON BOULEVARD GOES NORTH FROM US.

THE SUBWAY IS JUST ABOVE US.

FIVE-ACRE PARK HERE ANCHORED BY THE VESSEL FACING NORTH.

GO SOUTH, YOU WALK STRAIGHT ONTO THE HIGH LINE.

WE'LL BE ABLE TO CONNECT STRAIGHT BACK TO MOYNIHAN STATION, THE EXTENSION OF PENN STATION TO THE WEST, WEST OF 11th AVENUE WE'LL HOOK UP WITH THE HUDSON RIVER PARK.

WE'LL BE CONNECTED UNDERGROUND TO THE SUBWAY.

WE'RE CONNECTED THEREFORE TO THE JAVITS CENTER.

NOT TO MENTION 10th OF A, 11th AVENUE, AND THE CROSS STREETS.

IT WILL HAVE A RIPPLE EFFECT ON THE CITY.

THE WEST SIDE IS CONTINUOUS.

I THINK WHAT'S INTERESTING, THINK OF HUDSON RIVER PARK.

YOU CAN RIDE FROM YOUR BIKE FROM THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE TO THE BATTERY, THAT'S PRETTY COOL.

NOW I THINK ALL THE NEIGHBORHOODS ARE EQUALLY CONNECTED TO A PARK SYSTEM, A TRANSIT SYSTEM, NEW DEVELOPMENTS.

THAT ALLOWS THE CITY TO THRIVE.

FROM ANY ANGLE -- ENGINEERING, URBAN PLANNING, DESIGN -- HUDSON YARDS IS AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT.

WE HEAR THIS A LOT.

WE NEED A NEW ROBERT MOSES.

I'M NOT SURE WE NEED A NEW ROBERT MOSES BUT I THINK WE NEED TO GO BACK TO THE AMBITION ROBERT MOSES HAD.

I THINK WHAT WE'VE DEMONSTRATED HERE AT HUDSON YARDS THAT WE CAN STILL BE AMBITIOUS, AND WE CAN BE AMBITIOUS AND ACTUALLY THRIVE AND SUCCEED.

AND I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE TO SORT OF GET OUR MOJO BACK AND PROVE THAT WE CAN BE ONCE AGAIN.

IN MANHATTAN, I'M MADDIE ORTON FOR 'METROFOCUS.'

> EXCITEMENT ABOUNDS AS THE HUDSON YARDS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OPENS TO THE PUBLIC.

BUT DESPITE TAX BREAKS LARGER THAN THOSE OFFERED TO AMAZON AND A SUBWAY EXTENSION MEANT TO SERVE ITS INCOMING RESIDENTS, WHO CAN AFFORD TO MOVE THERE?

THE MULTIMILLION DOLLAR LUXURY APARTMENTS MIGHT BE A TOUGH SELL.

SOME REAL ESTATE EXPERTS SAY THE LUXURY CONDO MARKET IS FLOODED AND THAT WILL CUT INTO THE HUDSON YARDS' BOTTOM LINE.

HOME PRICES IN MANHATTAN HAVE SLID MORE THAN 3% ACCORDING TO A RECENT REPORT CONDUCTED BY STREET EASY.

BUT THE DEVELOPERS AT HUDSON YARDS HAVE ONE AMENITY NOT FOUND IN EVERY LUXURY DEVELOPMENT IN MANHATTAN.

HERE WITH DETAILS ON WHAT THAT LURE MIGHT BE AND THE SCOOP ON NEW YORK'S HOTTEST NEW NEIGHBORHOOD IS JAMES TAMRY, REAL ESTATE REPORTER FOR 'BLOOMBERG NEWS.'

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

FIRST WHAT IS IT THAT'S HAPPENING?

THIS IS BEING PRESENTED AS THE GRAND OPENING OF THE HUDSON YARDS.

WELL, HUDSON YARDS HAS ACTUALLY BEEN OPEN SINCE 2016.

PEOPLE HAVE BEEN IN THE COMMERCIAL SPACES FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW.

THE GRAND OPENING IT'S HAVING THIS WEEK IS THE GRAND OPENING OF THE PUBLIC SPACES.

THE RESTAURANTS, THE VESSEL WHICH IS THE ART OBJECT THAT HAS STAIRS THAT PEOPLE CAN CLIMB, THE PUBLIC KIND OF GARDENS AND AREAS, AND OF COURSE ALSO THE NEIMAN MARCUS.

ALL RIGHT.

SO WITH ALL OF THE HUBBUB THAT'S BEEN AROUND ALL OF THIS, WHAT IS I GUESS THE HOPE FOR THE DEVELOPERS?

IS THIS JUST REALLY LIKE A LUXURY DEVELOPMENT?

OR IS THIS MORE OF A PUBLIC INTERACTIVE SPACE?

THE IDEA IS THAT IT'S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.

THE IDEA IS THAT IT'S A CITY WITHIN A CITY, EFFECTIVELY.

AND SO THERE ARE RESIDENTIAL TOWERS, THERE ARE OFFICE TOWERS, THERE'S THIS KIND OF MALL WITH RESTAURANTS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, IN PHASE TWO OF THE PROGRAM THERE'S SUPPOSED TO BE A PUBLIC SCHOOL AND FURTHER RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS.

IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY WITHIN NEW YORK CITY.

AND I NOTICE THAT THE WAY A LOT OF PEOPLE KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT, IT'S VERY MUCH LIKE, WELL, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE, BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN NOTHING LIKE THIS, CORRECT?

THAT'S TRUE.

THE CLOSEST ANALOG IS PROBABLY BATTERY PARK CITY, BUT THAT WASN'T NEARLY AS AMBITIOUS OR LARGE OR AS EXPANSIVE IN TERMS WHAT WAS IT'S OFFERING.

IT'S PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL.

IN THE SENSE THAT IT WAS A PLANNED COMMUNITY, YES.

BATTERY PARK CITY IS AS CLOSE AS IT GETS.

NEW YORK REALLY HASN'T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN ITS HISTORY.

WELL, OF COURSE GOING BACK TO THE PUBLIC SPACES, A LOT HAS BEEN MADE ABOUT -- I HESITATE TO CALL IT A MALL BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THIS IS NOT A MALL IN THE TRADITIONAL SENSE THAT WE KNOW IT.

BUT IS THERE ANY INDICATION THAT HAVING THIS RETAIL SPACE THAT OFFERS RESTAURANTS AND HIGH-END SHOPPING, ET CETERA, IS THAT ACTUALLY HELPING TO SELL SOME OF THESE HIGH-END PROPERTIES?

HUDSON YARDS IS ON THE FAR WEST SIDE OF MANHATTAN IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT'S RELATIVELY INACCESSIBLE OR WAS RELATIVELY INACCESSIBLE UNTIL THE 7 TRAIN WAS EXTENDED BY THE CITY FOR THE COST OF AROUND $2.4 BILLION.

IT IS NOT NECESSARILY PART OF ANY OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD.

SO THE IDEA IS THAT ALL OF THESE AMENITIES THAT ARE BEING OFFERED VIA THE COMMUNITY OF HUDSON YARDS WILL DRAW TENANTS, COMMERCIAL AND OTHERWISE, AND BUYERS FOR THE CONDOMINIUMS THAT ARE QUITE HIGH-END THAT ARE GOING UP.

BUT THE MARKET HAS ACTUALLY BEEN CHANGING.

WE'VE SEEN SO MANY LUXURY DEVELOPMENTS COME ONLINE IN THE NEW YORK CITY MARKET.

AND IS IT STILL AS HOT AS IT WAS?

OR IS IT STARTING TO DECLINE?

THE SHORT ANSWER IS, NO.

SO THE NEW YORK CITY CONDO MARKET, RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET ABOVE -- LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET HAS BEEN IN DECLINE PRETTY MUCH SINCE 2016.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT THERE CONTINUES TO BE A LOT OF NEW INVENTORY THAT'S HITTING THE MARKET YEAR OVER YEAR OVER YEAR.

SINCE 2016 A LOT OF DEVELOPERS HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN HOLDING BACK EXISTING MATERIAL BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT THE MARKET HAS SOFTENED SOMEWHAT.

AND SO AS A CONSEQUENCE, YOU HAVE A BACKSTOCK OF INVENTORY AND MORE INVENTORY COMING ON THE MARKET.

AS A CONSEQUENCE YOU HAVE THIS REAL GLUT OF AVAILABLE MATERIAL AND A HEAVILY SLACKENED DEMAND FROM BUYERS.

THAT'S FASCINATING CONSIDERING HOW MUCH THE ISSUE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING HAS BEEN ON THE FOREFRONT OF SO MANY DISCUSSIONS HERE IN NEW YORK.

I DO WANT TO PIVOT A LITTLE BIT TOWARDS THE ISSUE OF TAX BREAKS.

NOW ACTUALLY THERE WAS RECENTLY A STORY PRINTED IN THE 'TIMES' ABOUT HOW THIS PROJECT GOT HUGE AMOUNTS OF TAX BREAKS TO BE DONE.

ACTUALLY BIGGER THAN AMAZON, WHICH GOT A LOT OF PUBLIC ATTENTION, DREW A LOT OF IRE.

I KNOW THEY'RE NOT A ONE-TO-ONE COMPARISON BUT I WANTED TO GET YOUR TAKE ON WHY AMAZON GOT SO MUCH ATTENTION, AND YET THIS PROJECT GOT MORE TAX BREAKS BUT NOBODY SEEMED TO NOTICE.

RIGHT.

I THINK -- I CAN ONLY COMMENT ON THIS SLIGHTLY.

BUT I THINK THE FUNDAMENTAL POINT IS TWOFOLD.

ONE, THESE ARE VERY DIFFERENT ISSUES WHEREIN HUDSON YARDS IS ACTUAL DEVELOPMENT.

IT'S CREATING AN ENTIRELY NEW BUSINESS DISTRICT WHICH THEORETICALLY, AT LEAST, IS BRINGING IN TONS OF NEW JOBS.

AND THEN TWO, IT'S REALLY A QUESTION OF PR, RIGHT?

MANY COMPANIES AROUND THE COUNTRY GET TAX BREAKS FOR DEVELOPING IN DIFFERENT CITIES.

THAT'S A COMMON PRACTICE.

EVERYWHERE.

YEAH.

AMAZON, WHICH IS HELMED BY THE RICHEST PERSON ON THE PLANET, DID A VERY PUBLIC CAMPAIGN WHEREIN THEY WENT AROUND THE COUNTRY GETTING SOLICITATIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE BENDING OVER BACKWARDS TO GIVE THEM TAX BREAKS AND TAX INCENTIVES IN WHATEVER CONTEXT.

AND SO BECAUSE THEY WERE PUBLICIZING THIS, PEOPLE WERE PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO IT.

AND THEN IN MANY RESPECTS THE BACKLASH WAS SOMEWHAT INEVITABLE.

ALL RIGHT.

FINAL QUESTION, THEN.

AS THE REAL ESTATE SALES, LET'S SAY, START CLOSING AND PEOPLE START MOVING INTO HUDSON YARDS, WHAT IS IT WE SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR TO DETERMINE HOW SUCCESSFUL OF A PROJECT THIS IS AND HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD WE GIVE IT?

WE NEED TO GIVE IT A LOT OF TIME.

THIS IS NOT A FIVE-YEAR PROJECT, A TEN-YEAR PROJECT.

IT'S A 20, 25-YEAR PROJECT.

THAT SAID THE DEVELOP WEIRS LOVE TO SELL OUT THESE CONDOMINIUMS THEY'RE BUILDING.

THEY'RE VERY EXPENSIVE.

THE CURRENT AVAILABLE APARTMENTS AT 15 HUDSON YARDS STARTED AROUND $4 MILLION, AND GO UP TO OVER $30 MILLION.

THE MORE EXPENSIVE CONDOMINIUM IS 35 HUDSON YARDS AND THAT HAS YET TO BE BUILT BUT APARTMENTS START AROUND $5 MILLION.

RIGHT?

THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF APARTMENTS IN THESE BUILDINGS.

THERE ARE NOT NECESSARILY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RIGHT NOW EAGER TO BE SPENDING $5 MILLION, $10 MILLION ON A RELATIVELY UNTESTED PART OF NEW YORK CITY.

SO THE DEVELOPER UNDERSTANDS, I THINK, TO SOME DEGREE, THAT THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE AN OVERNIGHT BLOWOUT SUCCESS.

ALL RIGHT.

THAT'S ASKING FOR PATIENCE FROM NEW YORKERS.

THAT IN AND OF ITSELF I THINK IS A HUGE -- THAT WOULD BE A BIG GET.

JAMES, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR REPORTING AND HELPING US GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT'S GOING ON, PARTICULARLY WITH THE REAL ESTATE ANGLE OF THE HUDSON YARDS DEVELOPMENT.

WE'D LOVE TO HAVE YOU BACK.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

ABSOLUTELY.

> 'METROFOCUS' MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRILL TISCH.

SUE AND EDGAR WALKENHEIM III.

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B.

ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ.

ROSLYN P. WALTER.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY -- R CORPORATE FUNDING PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G.

SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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