Unless you live in New York City, you probably don’t remember that New York City was a leading bidder for the 2012 Olympic Games, which will be held in London next summer. The prime site that Mayor Bloomberg offered for the Olympic Stadium was a large tract on land on the Far West Side of Manhattan, now called Hudson Yards. This area, west of 8th Street between 30th and 43rd, largely consists of industrial, factories and parking lots. Now, however, because New York lost its bid, it’s beginning to look like it really was the winner.
Not only is New York not burdened with the exorbitant cost of building the infrastructure necessary to host the Olympics, along with the mind-boggling expense of security for the athletes and visitors, it still has the huge Hudson Yards site available for development. And it is indeed being developed into useful and productive space. Since 2005, 15 residential towers have been built in this area, and hotels are popping up on practically every corner. Even better, in a recent New York Times article, it was revealed that a large local developer, the Related Companies, will build a 51 story office tower on the very location where the Olympic Stadium was to have been built, with Coach, the luxury retailer, as a prime anchor tenant. According to the Times, city officials expect the area to ultimately contain more business square footage than a city the size of Portland, Oregon.
As an extension of the Number 7 subway line from Times Square is being built to service the area, the city planners expect the growth in the area to continue with a healthy mix of residential, commercial, and office space. I think this is one case where you can say that by losing, New York has ultimately won.
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