What NYC's First Subway Station in 26 Years Has to Do with Hudson Yards' Potential

Courtesy of Related-Oxford

The 11th Avenue station is a new gateway to the Far West Side, where the 17 million-square-foot development will house Time Warner in 2018 as other media companies eye the possibilities.

This story first appeared in the Sept. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

New York's first subway station in 26 years opened Sept. 13, linking a oncebarren stretch of midtown to Grand Central and Queens via the 7 train. The station, at 34th Street near 11th Avenue, is the latest high-profile evolution at Hudson Yards, the city-within-a-city rising near Pennsylvania Station. Could the $20 billion, 17 million-square-foot project lure media tenants from their traditional confines between 42nd and 59th streets?

Retail corporations Coach and L’Oreal will lease in the complex’s first tower next year. But the only media powerhouse to announce a move to the area (in 2018) is Time Warner (Discovery also reportedly is eyeing the site).

Hudson Yards has several advantages over the World Trade Center site, where Conde Nast and Time Inc. have led a media bum rush: The subway expansion brings the Far West Side within easy reach of commuters streaming into Grand Central Terminal from affluent northern suburbs, and the mixed-use behemoth also benefits from being by the northern terminus of the High Line, which links it to Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. It’s closer to existing media infrastructure — TV studios, newsrooms and publishing houses and also favored canteens — than Lower Manhattan, until recently a dining and nightlife wasteland. Of course, these strengths boost rents: Lower Manhattan comes at a discount (sometimes bolstered by tax incentives) that struggling media companies may not be able to pass up.

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