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Courtesy, Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards

Neighboring the High Line and Javits Center on Manhattan’s Far West Side, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, including more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, more than 100 shops, a collection of restaurants, approximately 4,000 residences, a new center for artistic invention, 14 acres of public open space and more. Highlights include:

  • The $1.5 billion expansion of the Javits Center, adding more than 1 million square feet of event space, is currently underway. The project includes a 500,000-square-foot exhibition hall, rooftop terrace, additional meeting rooms and a 55,000-square-foot ballroom, which will be the largest such space in the Northeast. Design firm LendLease Turner will lead the project, which broke ground in March 2017. Completion is expected in 2021 (governor.ny.gov).
  • The Shed which opened in April, is the first arts center designed to commission, produce and present all types of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture, when it debuts in April. Designed by world-renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group, the 200,000-square-foot, 8-level venue’s telescoping outer shell will contract and expand on wheels to accommodate a variety of works, events and programs. In the public lobby of the Shed is Cedric’s, a 3,000-square-foot, 121-seat restaurant and all-day bar operated by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (theshed.org).
  • Also open as of this spring, Vessel is the centerpiece of the Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens. Designed by British architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick, the 15-story structure will feature 154 interconnecting flights of stairs and more than 2,500 individual steps with 80 landings (hudsonyardsnewyork.com).
  • Hudson Yards is home to 100 shops including retail tenants H&M, Rolex, Sephora, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, Van Cleef, Watches of Switzerland, Zara and many more, in addition to New York City’s first Neiman Marcus department store (hudsonyardsnewyork.com).
  • Dining options in Hudson Yards include projects by celebrity chefs Thomas Keller, David Chang, José Andrés and more, in addition to nearby restaurant Legacy Records, by the team behind beloved restaurants Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones (legacyrecordsnyc.com) (hudsonyardsnewyork.com).
  • 30 Hudson Yards will boast New York City’s highest outdoor observation deck in late 2019, The Observation Deck at Hudson Yards, at more than 1,000 feet, featuring river-to-river panoramic views of the City’s skyline (hudsonyardsnewyork.com).
  • Opening within Hudson Yards will be a brand-new Equinox Hotel in June and additional hotels opening near the new neighborhood include the Courtyard by Marriott later this year and aloft New York Chelsea North in 2019 (equinox-hotels.com) (marriott.com) (aloft-hotels.com).
  • Hudson Boulevard Park: With its first three blocks open as of 2015 (from West 33rd to West 36th streets) $374 million in financing has been secured to expand the park west to West 39th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues to create a new three-acre green space above an Amtrak rail line.
  • Playboy Club: Reopened as of September, the new Playboy Club brings a sophisticated adult experience to the neighborhood just north of Hudson Yards, approximately three decades after the original venue closed. Visitors enter through the ornate Playboy Gallery—complete with never-before-seen photography—and enter to a dimly lit atmosphere with modernized nods to the Playboy Mansion. Cocktails and fusion cuisine by a Nobu veteran are served by models who don the iconic bunny costume and Roberto Cavalli accessories (playboyclubnyc.com).
  • High Line Spur: Set to open June 5th, the Spur is located on the last remaining section of the original rail structure at the western end of the High Line at West 30th Street and Tenth Avenue. The focal point of the Spur is the Plinth, a series of rotating art commissions of varying size and scale debuting with Brick House by artist Simone Leigh, through September 2020 (thehighline.org).

Lower Manhattan

With the opening of the One World Observatory in 2015, plus countless new accommodation, dining and shopping offerings, Lower Manhattan continues to evolve as a must-see destination in New York City. New developments include:

  • Seaport District NYC’s revitalization by the Howard Hughes Corporation will encompass seven buildings upon completion, totaling more than 400,000 square feet of cutting-edge culinary, fashion, entertainment and cultural experiences. Highlights include the newly opened Pier 17, including a 1.5-acre rooftop concert and special events venue with unparalleled views of New York City’s waterfront and skyline, Cobble & Co., a bright and airy two-level gastropub, Garden Bar, and the recently opened premier iPic Theater cinema. Seaport District NYC also recently became home to the first and only US location of Carla Sozzani’s pioneering experiential concept store 10 Corso Como. Next-up highlights include a 50,000-square-foot food market by Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the restored Tin Building, a new bar and grill concept by Momofuku Group’s David Chang and Malibu Farm, slated for 2019.
  • A brand-new $70 million museum opened on Liberty Island on May 16. The Statue of Liberty Museum, a partnership between the National Park Service and Statue of Liberty–Ellis Island Foundation, features interactive displays, museum galleries and an immersive theater experience depicting the history of the statue and what it represents to our country. The museum has unobstructed views of the iconic statue, all housed inside a state-of-the-art LEED Gold–certified building complete with a green roof that provides an enhanced climate-controlled experience for visitors during all seasons. (libertyellisfoundation.org).
  • North Cove Marina offers visitors several boat tours to experience New York City’s waterfront, including those operated by Classic Harbor Line who expanded to the Battery Park City marina in April 2018. Excursions include a Sunset Cocktail Cruise, 1-hour Harbor Sightseeing Cruise and more (sail-nyc.com).New hotels in Lower Manhattan include a new luxury hotel by the Cipriani family, Mr. C Seaport, and affordable luxury property citizenM New York Bowery Hotel. Additionally, Marriott’s new AC Downtown and Moxy Downtown have opened. (mrcseaport.com) (marriott.com) (citizenm.com) (moxy-hotels.marriott.com).
  • WTC Cortlandt: In September 2018, nearly 17 years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reopened the former Cortlandt Street station. Servicing the 1 train line, the sleek and modern hub is now connected to the Oculus transportation hub, features fewer columns, is fully accessible and is air-tempered to regulate temperature. MTA Arts & Design commissioned a new wall-to-wall mosaic, titled CHORUS (mta.info).
  • Water Street Redesign: A $23 million redesign along Water Street between Whitehall and Fulton Streets, supported by the Downtown Alliance, is in the approval process with New York City’s Public Design Commission. Upon approval, the construction project—which will result in two plazas, wider sidewalks, new plantings and more—will be put out to bid (downtownny.com).

Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan is known for its luxury hotels, diverse retailers, iconic sights including the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, and so much more. Over the last year, the neighborhood has seen several major new attraction openings, offering activities for first-timers and repeat visitors alike. New developments include:

  • Gulliver’s Gate opened in May 2017 and occupies 49,000 square feet of space. The attraction features built-to-scale miniature scenes of regions from across the globe (including models of NYC produced in Brooklyn) and hundreds of moving trains and vehicles, as well as ships that sail and planes that take off and land. (gulliversgate.com).
  • In October 2017, National Geographic and SPE Partners debuted their groundbreaking attraction, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. Visitors are transported on an underwater journey without getting wet, thanks to cutting-edge technology and National Geographic’s rich history of storytelling (natgeoencounter.com).
  • SPYSCAPE, the world’s largest interactive spy museum, featuring world-class artifacts, advanced technology and immersive experiences, opened in February 2018. Visitors can test hacking, code breaking and espionage skills to discover their inner spy (spyscape.com).
  • A renovation and expansion project is underway at the Museum of Modern Art, which will enhance its galleries and public spaces. In fall 2019, the museum will expand its gallery space by a third allowing the cultural institution to show significantly more art in innovative and integrative ways. The reimagined and expanded museum will re-open on October 21 after a brief four-month closure starting June 15. (moma.org).
  • Manhattan’s second-tallest skyscraper, One Vanderbilt, will debut in 2020 at more than 1,400 feet. In addition to a new 11,000-square-foot restaurant and café from chef Daniel Boulud, the building will include an indoor-outdoor observation deck at 1,100 feet above street level. Visitors will be able to access the new observation deck through an entrance inside Grand Central Terminal (onevanderbilt.com).
  • New hotels in Midtown Manhattan include the AC Hotel New York Times Square, the recently opened Times Square Edition by Ian Schrager two properties by Portuguese hotel group Pestana (2019) and the Aman New York, coming in 2020 (marriott.com) (editionhotels.com) (pestana.com) (aman.com).
  • Empire State Building: On August 22 a new observatory entrance accessible via 34th Street was unveiled. New state-of-the-art security and self-ticketing kiosks in nine languages will cut down wait time for 4.2 million annual guests. A green room for celebrity lighting partners and private receptions was also introduced. Aesthetically reflecting the art deco era, the new observatory’s split grand staircase overlooks a 25-foot two-story model of the landmarked building accurately depicting its 6,514 windows, while 15,000 LED bulbs mimic the tower lights show (esbnyc.com).

St. George, Staten Island

Staten Island, renowned for its museums, historic landmarks, beaches and parkland, is currently undergoing a major transformation, with new attractions, shopping, accommodations and dining coming to the island’s North Shore. New developments in St. George include:

  • The Empire Outlets debuted on May 15, 2019, with 1.1 million square feet of retail space including approximately 100 shops: Brooks Brothers, H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Nike Factory, Gap Outlet, Polo and more, plus an extensive array of waterfront food and beverage concepts. Empire Outlets is a category-defining retail destination and New York City's first and only shopping outlet. It will be the retail centerpiece of New York City's newest entertainment district of Staten Island's waterfront (empireoutletsnyc.com).
  • MRKTPL Empire Outlets will hold 13,000 square feet of the best local and international food purveyors in a relaxed and elegant environment, in addition to 3,000 square feet of outdoor dining. The artisanal food hall, a place to explore with family and friends, will be Staten Island’s first and will be run by Manny Del Castillo and Jamie Hinojos, the creative director and director of operations at the Gansevoort Market. The MRKTPL team is also responsible for the newly opened North 3rd Street Market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (empireoutletsnyc.com).
  • New hotels include Westin New York Staten Island, coming to Lighthouse Point by mid-2019, complete with more than 160 guest rooms, rooftop pool and bar and 15,000 square feet of event space. Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island in the Bloomfield neighborhood on the West Shore is also undergoing a renovation and expansion, adding 100 rooms to accommodate even more visitors to the borough (lighthousepoint.nyc) (hilton.com).