Failed Olympic bid builds Far West Side

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed 2012 Olympic Bid paved the way for the development of Manhattan’s Far West Side, which has given birth to 15 residential towers and 12 hotels since 2005, when the International Olympic Committee selected London to host the games.

According to the New York Times, the city rezoned and adjusted land use laws for the area to facilitate development for the Olympics and began planning the $2 billion extension of the 7 subway line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue. Though the Olympics didn’t follow, development has. In addition to the Related Companies’ Hudson Yards site, Avalon Bay is planning a 30-story rental development at 11th Avenue and 29th Street, and the Gotham Organization broke ground on a $520 million residential complex 15 blocks to the north. New parks and a boulevard between 10th and 11th avenues are also on the docket.

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Within two decades, officials expect the area west of Eighth Avenue between 30th and 43rd streets to have more office space than Baltimore and as many apartments as Stamford, Conn.

Moreover, the New York Times said that had the city won the Olympic bid, development wouldn’t have come so quickly to the neighborhood. Mayor Bloomberg acknowledges that the recession would have made it difficult to raise enough money complete all the long-term infrastructure projects before the Games, and others say a $2 billion athletic facility would have dominated the area — not Related’s massive mixed-use development. [NYT]