The second phase of Hudson Yards could include a 700-foot-long wall.
Stephen Ross’ Related Companies is considering elevating the deck of the yard by several stories to accommodate a parking garage below it, according to the New York Times. This means the site would rise up rather than slope down toward the Hudson River, which would create a wall right next to the High Line spanning 700 feet and standing two stories above the park. The wall would at least visually obscure public access to the green space planned between 11th Avenue and the High Line along 12th Avenue.
Related spokeswoman Kathleen Corless said it was far too early to be concerned about a wall, describing the conversations about it to the Times as “very, very preliminary.” Nothing has been settled, making it “not fair to say we are at odds in any way,” she said.
But the possibility of the wall has already drawn the ire of several local politicians, including Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. Because the design eventually requires the approval of the city planning commissioner, a mayoral appointee, it would be difficult for an unpopular proposal to come to fruition. Mayor Bill de Blasio himself has taken a dim view of Hudson Yards.
“Hudson Yards is already considered elitist,” Brewer told the Times. “People wonder, is that for me? Getting people of color to use these places is hard enough. This is the worst sort of planning.” [NYT] — Eddie Small