Tall Cake, Short Break: Celebrating Year One of Hudson Yards Project
BY SAM SPOKONY | Any good birthday bash requires a top-notch cake — and so it was for hundreds of Hudson Yards construction workers on Wednesday, December 4, as they celebrated their first year of work on the West Side site by digging into a sugary, five-foot-tall replica of one of the development’s future office towers.
The 10 Hudson Yards tower — at the corner of West 30th Street and 10th Avenue — currently stands at three stories, and will rise to 52 stories and a height of 895 feet by its planned completion in 2015.
Upon opening, the tower will become the new home of Coach, L’Oreal USA and software giant SAP. A Fairway Market grocery store will also be located in the building’s base along, West 30th Street.
It was Fairway that supplied the 10 Hudson Yards cake, to the delight of workers who got a brief break from the job so they could enjoy the icing-topped treat.
By the end of 2014, the entire eastern half of Hudson Yards will also be under construction, according to the project’s joint developers — Related Companies and Oxford Properties. The full site spans between West 30th and 33rd Streets, and between 10th Avenue and the West Side Highway.
“I’m happy to say that we’re right on schedule, and right on budget,” said Ronald Wackrow, the executive vice president of Related who is overseeing the Hudson Yards construction, who made an appearance at the “first birthday” event.
In addition to 10 Hudson Yards, the development will eventually feature a second, 80-story office tower and two residential towers that will reach 70 and 79 stories, as well as other elements including retail, public space and a new school.
“I think people are now understanding that this isn’t just going to be a bunch of buildings,” said Related’s Michael Samuelian, a Hudson Yards project manager. “We’re really building a neighborhood that will fill the gap between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.”
With the final section of the High Line — which curves around the Hudson Yards site, along West 30th Street and the West Side Highway — also currently under construction, Samuelian noted the importance of that close connection.
“We looking forward to having an amazing relationship with the High Line,” said Samuelian, pointing out that the iconic park will bring a valuable influx of foot traffic into the development’s retail and open spaces.
Aside from the festivities that went along with marking the one-year milestone for 10 Hudson Yards, both the executives and the construction workers exuded a genuine sense of pride about their ongoing efforts at the site.
“Anybody on this project knows it’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Wackrow, who asserted his belief that Hudson Yards is, by far, the best development he’s ever been a part of.
The Related VP also expressed his deep respect for the construction workers — and it seemed clear that the feeling was mutual.
“Man, I just love showing up here every day,” said Bobby “Mosquito” Bayron, 59, a Bronx resident who has been working rigs and hoists on the construction site since the job began.
Bayron explained that 10 Hudson Yards is not only an “unbelievable project” — one he’s proud to be building — but that it will, in fact, be his final job. After 35 years as a construction worker, he plans to
retire once the tower is topped off.
“I’m sure as hell going out with a bang,” he said.