In 2003, the Bloomberg Administration began advancing a proposal to redevelop the southern portion of Hell's Kitchen and the northern portion of Chelsea. The plan covers an area that runs from 28th to 43rd Street, bounded partially by 8th Avenue and partially by 7th Avenue (see maps available at left). The name "Hudson Yards" is used to refer to the entire area, but also refers specifically to the MTA rail yards located on the Hudson River, between 30th and 34th Streets. The portion between the river and 11th Avenue is known as the Western Rail Yards, and the portion between 11th Avenue and 10th Avenue is known as the Eastern Rail Yards.
The 'Hudson Yards' area includes portions of the Garment Center, the Javits Convention Center, Madison Square Garden, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the Farley Post Office and the Lincoln Tunnel. It also includes residential areas with a variety of housing types - walk-up apartments, tenements, converted lofts and high-rise apartment buildings. Together, these buildings contain approximately 12,000 housing units and 21,000 residents.
The City's redevelopment plan for the Hudson Yards area calls for an expansion of the Javits Convention Center, an extension of the No. 7 subway line, 40 million square feet of new office and residential space, and 20 acres of new open space. The plan originally called for a football stadium for the Jets to be built over the Western Rail Yards, but that portion of the plan was defeated by massive community opposition. Much of the rest of the plan, though in an altered version, is guiding today's development. The City Council pased the Hudson Yards rezoning in January, 2005 and then amended the rezoning through a Follow-Up Corrective Action about a year later.
The City of New York recently reached an agreement with the MTA regarding sale of the Hudson Yards and the extension of the No. 7 line. The agreement allows the development to go through ULURP which is a step toward allowing all concerned communities to have a say in the process. Discussions are currently underway regarding what will be built over the rail yards, given the defeat of the stadium proposal.
Development over the rail yards will require the construction of platforms, so that trains can continue to operate beneath the new buildings. The City and State have committed to providing public financing for the extension of the subway line, the expansion of the convention center, and the construction of these platforms. It is hoped that the new development spurred by the recent rezoning, as well as development directly above the yards, will pay for these infrastructure improvements. Public financing will also be used for:
- condemnation of property and construction of 'Hudson Boulevard' -- a new street and open space system running from 33rd to 42nd street, located midway between 10th and 11th Avenues (including a below-grade, 950-space parking garage at 34th street); and
- condemnation and construction of a rooftop park on top of a new block-long Department of Sanitation facility to be constructed between 29th and 30th streets west of 11th Avenue.