1. Hudson Yards
Hudson Yards makes history as the biggest private real estate development in the country. In fact, it’s the city’s largest project since Rockefeller Center. “It’s generating a lot of buzz purely based on its size,” says Hiten Samtani, Managing Editor of The Real Deal.
So, how big is it? A whopping 17 million square feet, which includes multiple office towers and 5,000 apartments. The Culture Shed performance hub will be home to New York Fashion Week. Plus, a 1-million-square-foot mall will feature NYC’s first Neiman Marcus.
The impact is monumental according to Samtani: “It’s been so big and so transformative that it’s shifted the center of gravity in the city from Midtown more toward the West Side.”
2. New York Wheel
Developers are aiming to create the world’s largest Ferris wheel in Staten Island. Samtani dubs the New York Wheel project as “wildly optimistic.”
Ultimately, the goal is to turn Staten Island into a must-see tourist destination on par with Times Square. Projections include 4 million riders per year, which is more than the Statue of Liberty’s annual visitors. They’re estimating charging $35 a ride.
In the meantime, this project is becoming quite costly, as Samtani explains, “When they started construction it was $250 million or so. Now it’s slated to cost more than $500 million.”
3. Central Park Tower
When it comes to residential projects, keep Central Park Tower (previously Nordstrom Tower) on your radar. This 1,500-foot-high luxury condo will be located on Billionaire’s Row, a.k.a. 57th Street. The building’s projected sellout is $4.4 billion.
However, Samtani says this is like a guinea pig. Whether the units sell will influence the overall luxury market. It’s “the most ambitious project yet” for Gary Barnett, a major real estate developer, who hasn’t yet secured financing.
“Developers look to people like Barnett, because he’s set the market in so many ways,” Samtani explains. “So if someone like him pauses and says, ‘I can’t do this right now,’ it’s going to impact a lot of people.”
4. Essex Crossing
Located on the Lower East Side, Essex Crossing is an area that’s gone undeveloped since tenement housing in the 1960s. Formerly known as Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, the 1.9 million-square-foot development will include 1,000 apartments (half are affordable housing) and 850,000 square feet of commercial space.
There’s a focus on community (think movie theater, bowling alley, and parks), along with plans to expand Essex Street Market. Additionally, there will be 250,000 square feet of office space.
As for why it stands out, Samtani says, “It’s one thing to build housing and tap into a hot area. It’s another to try to transform an area like these guys are trying to do.”
5. Brooklyn Navy Yard
Around $1 billion has been invested in Brooklyn Navy Yard, including $250 million of public money. With this project, the city is shifting its focus to manufacturing.
This industrial park — near South Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, and Downtown Brooklyn — will be home to tech-driven manufacturing projects. Samtani explains, “It’s going to be a mixture of traditional manufacturing and new ways of manufacturing.”
WeWork is getting an entire office building. “The idea is to attract those plug-in office workers,” Samtani says. In other words, millennials and freelancers. The location “has a lot of possibility,” he adds. “It’s just a massive complex that’s untapped. The fact that the city is making such a big bet on this is interesting.”