Hudson Yards, the game-changing neighborhood development/mall/Instagrammable playground, has swiftly established itself as the new must-see space for New Yorkers and tourists alike. The 28-acre, $25 billion development has been home to concerts, art shows, galas, and recently, a Met Costume Gala after-party hosted by Ryan Murphey and Janet Mock. Not only is the space revolutionizing New York City culture--with a 7-storey mall, numerous office buildings, a public garden, art installations, residential buildings, and the first-ever Equinox hotel, Hudson Yards is changing the retail game by bringing entertainment, art, culture, and even home to a retail space. If the name of the game in contemporary brick-and-mortar retail is innovative experiences, then Hudson Yards is the ultimate poster-child.
Found between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to West 34th Street, Hudson Yards sprung from a former train yard near Manhattan’s meatpacking district. The area has seen a revitalization in recent years, from the chic Chelsea storefronts to the tourist-swarmed highline, and while Hudson Yards is certainly radical in form, in many ways it feels like a natural addition to the neighborhood. The space provides art, nature, retail, and housing to a part of the city riddled with old train tracks and warehouses.
So how does Hudson Yards draw in visitors and even residents to an old warehouse district? With experiences you can’t get anywhere else in the city, of course. The 4-block-long space houses what their website calls a “transformable multi-arts center” dubbed The Shed, designed to host concerts, art installations, conventions, and other special events. Meanwhile, Hudson Yards has its own permanent art installation to draw in the Instagram crowd--Vessel, a 150-foot tall structure designed by Thomas Hetherwick, is a hive-like, walkable structure featuring 154 interconnected flights of stairs along which visitors can see unique views of the city and the Yard.
Of course, the key to Hudson Yards’s retail success comes from its exceptional shopping along with its revolutionary structures. 20 Hudson Yards, also known as the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, features 100 stores that run the gamut from Dior to H&M to specialized boutiques--variant in price, but all sufficiently chic to align with Hudson Yards’s image. The mall, too, has an impressive restaurant selection (including a tea room boasting Bouchon Bakery pastries), a meditation room, and sleep pods for the weary. The line between rest and play is blurred here, bringing wellness experiences and even residences to a retail experience that can’t be beat.
New York is a city that values experience above all else. A town built on entertainment, fast-movers and the Next Big Thing needs a retail experience that can keep up. Hudson Yards meets that demand. It’s unconventional, it’s risky, and it’s exactly what retail needs in order to stay current in a changing market.