Home Asides Official: Hudson Yards to take ‘decades’ to complete

Official: Hudson Yards to take ‘decades’ to complete

by Benjamin Kabak

The Hudson Yards project is quickly turning into a giant bust. While city officials are still optimistic that something will happen there, Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber said earlier this week that it will take decades to complete it. Meanwhile, Lieber also stressed the importance of the city-funded 7 line extension to the success of the project.

“We knew, and part of the plan all along was that you weren’t going to have companies relocating their headquarters, offices, or their employees to a place that people couldn’t get to,” Lieber said at an economic development forum on Tuesday. “So key to that is being able to deliver the mass transit to be able to accommodate the commuters.”

With this admission of an ambiguous start or end date for the project, I still this is as nothing more than a subway to nowhere. The MTA claims the project will be completed by 2013, and there’s a good chance nothing will be at the Hudson Yards site by then. Meanwhile, the state and transit agency are still embroiled in a dispute over the cost overruns that have, for now, shelved the proposed station at 41st St. and 10th Ave. Right now, the city then is paying over $2 billion for a train that doesn’t go anywhere and may not even serve a real development for decades. That’s just a terrible allocation of money and resources.

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Rhywun April 16, 2009 - 1:19 pm

Aren’t they waiting for a single mega-developer to step up and build the platform over the yard? Or are we paying for that? I can’t remember which.

Woody April 16, 2009 - 2:08 pm

The $2 billion that the City is planning to spend on the extension of the 7 line should be put aside until after this recession is well past, probably 5 years from a real-estate development timeline.

Instead the $2 billion should be used to speed up the completion of the 2nd Ave Subway from 63rd up to 125 Street.

South Ferry Shuttle April 16, 2009 - 3:30 pm

It’s an excellent allocation of resources. Transit needs to be built first to spur future development. Get the transit in the ground before the next serious real estate market upturn and watch those timelines get moved forward a few decades.

On a practical level, being concerned only with immediate development, the extensions makes sense enough for the first phases of the development along the extension as well as for the Javits Center. It’s not like the entire project is just getting started two decades from now, rather, it will take a while to fill everything in. Anyway, timeline estimates are a dime a dozen.

Kid Twist April 16, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Most of the lines that now serve Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were built when there was nothing there. The Manhattan els snaked their way north back when Upper Manhattan was still farmland. Until World War II, this city always understood the need to build transit ahead of development.

Benjamin Kabak April 16, 2009 - 5:11 pm

It’s not a matter of not building ahead of development. Right now, it’s a matter of prioritizing investment. There are numerous projects — transit-related at that — that could use the $2 billion, including the Second Ave. Subway and a 200-mile BRT system that are better for the city than a line built only for a giant real estate developer.

Gary Reilly April 17, 2009 - 8:48 am

This project is the Reader’s Digest condensed version of Mike Bloomberg policy priorities.

petey April 17, 2009 - 3:56 pm


west side! April 17, 2009 - 11:38 am

A private developer is funding the platform construction and despite the comments reporterd by the press, the project is moving forward. The City Council approved the east side zoning a few weeks back and the west yard zoning process is kicking off next month. This wasteland will soon be a thriving neighborhood, but it all takes time

Jerrold April 17, 2009 - 6:37 pm

It would make more sense to build the 10th Ave. station FIRST, and THEN to extend the line to a “Javits Center” station at 34th St. and 11th Ave. Even if doing it this way would take twice as long, it still would be better than keeping the current plan.
It has been pointed out that the gap between the Times Square station and the Javits Center station would be the LONGEST gap between any two consecutive stations in the system, except in places where you are crossing the river.

real estate firms brooklyn April 22, 2009 - 12:04 pm

Hopefully this gets done quickly.


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