Stephen Ross says criticism of Hudson Yards reflects anti-business sentiment in NYC

New York City’s public advocate derided the mall at the new mixed-use development as too expensive for many city residents

Stephen Ross at the opening of the Hudson Yards
Stephen Ross at the opening of the Hudson Yards (Credit: Getty Images)

Stephen Ross said critics of his mixed-use Hudson Yards development in Manhattan are sending the same anti-business message that encouraged Amazon to drop its plan to open a major corporate campus in New York City.

“That’s one of the reasons why Amazon’s not here,” Ross, chairman of Related Companies, said Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Critics have argued that apartments and shopping mall merchandise at Hudson Yards are aimed solely at wealthy consumers. Apartment prices at the 18 million-square-foot complex start at $2 million, and much of the office space goes for over $100 a square foot. Beyond that, the public subsidies — totaling about $6 billion, according to the New York Times — have been called into question by politicians and affordable housing advocates.

Ross derided the criticism as “newspaper talk” and “politicians trying to make an example of things.”

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Since its official opening in March, Hudson Yards has gotten a mixed local review. In April, New York City’s public advocate Jumaane Williams criticized the presence of cashless stores at the Hudson Yards mall, and he said many New York residents “likely can’t even afford to shop” there.

Ross said the mall has a mix of lower-priced stores and upscale shops, which operate under such luxury brands as Louis Vuitton and Patek Philippe.

Mid-price retailers with stores at the mall include Banana Republic, H&M and Uniqlo. [Wall Street Journal]Mike Seemuth