Related Companies founder Stephen Ross is predicting that a still-to-be-designed sculpture at Hudson Yards will be New York’s Eiffel Tower and more symbolic than the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center — and will be key in making his megaproject “the new heart” of the city.
Ross is putting the gigantic piece of artwork in the public plaza of the 13 million-square-foot neighborhood, which is being developed jointly by Related and Oxford Properties Group. The companies are holding a contest — six famous sculptors, including Richard Serra and Anish Kapoor, have been invited to submit drawings — and are putting the cost at nearly $100 million, Fortune reported.
“This sculpture will be the greatest tourist attraction in New York,” Ross told the magazine. “It will be more than the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, but 365 days a year. It will be to this city what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.”
THe 72-year-old Ross is the only developer willing to helm a project of Hudson Yard’s scope, according to Dan Doctoroff, a former city deputy mayor who now runs Bloomberg LP.
Related has a $20 billion portfolio of largely retail and residential buildings, and according to a Fortune estimate, several hundred million dollars a year in free cash flow. The Midtown West project will span 26 acres, making the largest U.S. private real estate project ever.