The Real Deal New York

10 projects born out of NYC’s failed Olympic ambitions

Ready for a trip down memory lane?
February 03, 2018 11:30AM

(Credit: Beyond My Ken)

As the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea approach, let’s not forget the failures along the way, notably NYC’s bid to win the games, literally, by bringing them to the city.

Under former mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city tried, but ultimately came up short, of winning the bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic games, but there are some lasting legacies of the attempt worth noting, as Curbed reports: here are 10 projects that came about, in part, thanks to the city’s loss of the celebrated games.

1
Hudson Yards

(Credit: Becker747400/Wikimedia Commons)


Redeveloping Manhattan’s west side was a major part of the 2012 bid and facilitated the rezoning of what has become Hudson Yards. Though the Olympian dreams had planned for a stadium in the area (which was left somewhere on the cutting room floor), much of the 2005 rezoning can be attributed to the bid — at least as an NYU report argues.

2
The 7 line extension / 34th St-Hudson Yards subway station

(Credit: MTA)


An integral part of the Hudson Yards rezoning, the project still happened as planned — just two years behind schedule.

3
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

(Credit: Jeffrey O. Gustafson)


The bid pushed the center to add an extra 340,000 square feet, for which Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to help redevelop to the tune of $1.5 billion.

4
Citi Field

(Credit: Cathy T)


The city’s scramble to find a stadium resulted in a fine deal for The Mets, according to an NYU report on how the 2012 Olympic bid transformed New York: “To help reduce the cost of the stadium, the City granted the Mets the right to construct it on City-owned property, foregoing payment for the land.” Though the team still had to fork over $600 million, the city chipped in $180 million.

5
Barclays Center

(Credit: AEMoreira042281/Wikimedia Commons)


The center, then known as the Atlantic Yards stadium, was to be the venue for gymnastics.

6
369th Regiment Armory

(Credit: Jim Henderson)


The 20th century building was going to be converted into a venue for boxing and it’s going down swinging: in 2016, a $2.2 million renovation was announced. The fight goes on.

7
Hunters Point South

(Credit: Jim Henderson)


The would-have been athletes’ Olympic village became the focus of numerous starchitects’ master plans. In the end, after the bid and star power faded to dust, SHoP Architects ended up building two new buildings for the area.

8
Bushwick Inlet Park

(Credit: Newkai)


Rezoning of the waterfront was underway, but received an extra push once the bid was underway as it would have been the site for water sports events like beach volleyball.

9
The High Line

(Credit: Beyond My Ken)


One report by NYU credits the successful park we know and love completely to the failed bid: “The decisive impetus for saving the High Line came when the City Council leadership agreed to support NYC2012’s plan for a West Side Stadium in return for the Bloomberg Administration’s commitment to maintain the High Line.”

10
Bronx Terminal Market

(Credit: Jim Henderson)


Supposed to become a site for facilities like a velodrome, the project was converted into a mixed-use development.[Curbed]Erin Hudson