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Old Amazon Haters Are the New Hudson Yards Haters

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Hudson Yards Haters

Hudson Yards, Manhattan's "biggest, newest, slickest gated community."

May 29, 2019

The people who rail against Hudson Yards – where condo apartments start at $2 million – are the same anti-business people who drove Amazon to abandon its proposed headquarters campus in Long Island City, Queens, according to no less an authority than Stephen Ross, who developed Hudson Yards. 

Ross, chairman of the Related Companies, responded to critics of Hudson Yards at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, dismissing criticism of his development as “newspaper talk” and “politicians trying to make an example of things.” He added, “That’s one of the reasons Amazon’s not here.”

The development on the West Side of Manhattan, which received $6 billion in public subsidies according to The New York Times, has been scorned by everyone from architecture critics to politicians to affordable-housing advocates, who say the development is aimed exclusively at the wealthy. New York City’s public advocate, Jumaane Williams, criticized the presence of cashless stores at the Hudson Yards mall and added that many New York residents “likely can’t even afford to shop” there. Let’s not mention living there – in one of those $2 million starter apartments. Ross pointed out that in addition to such high-end stores as Louis Vuitton and Patek Philippe, the mall has mid-price retailers Banana Republic and H&M. 

Much of the office space at the 18-million-square-foot development leases for more than $100 a square foot, which, along with the multimillion-dollar condos, led Times to label the development “Manhattan’s Biggest, Newest, Slickest Gated Community.”

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