Reusing Land In New York City

When you don't have the land available to build new neighborhoods what do you do?

If you're in New York, you build them on top of existing operations, in this case over the Hudson rail yards.

The phrase "only in New York" is probably overused, but there are times when it still applies. A plan to build an entire 26-acre neighborhood with 17 million square feet of buildings atop two platforms suspended over an active rail yard serving America's busiest train station is one of those times.

The neighborhood will be known as Hudson Yards, and construction officially began today on the first of those platforms — over the eastern part of the rail yard. That platform will ultimately hold two office towers, two residential towers (one of which will have a hotel), a million square feet of retail, and about five acres of open public space. And it will all come together as 30 Long Island Railroad tracks remain in operation to serve commuters through Penn Station.

Turning something that to some is an eyesore and takes up a lot of valuable real estate into new residential, commercial, and office space while maintaining the original function of the existing operations is kinda neat. Let's face it, real estate on Manhattan is expensive and eliminating a viable transportation hub in order to build more living space makes no sense. So why not go over and up?

The photos and illustrations in the linked give us a glimpse of what the completed project will look like. If they can pull it off before Mayor de Blasio turns New York into another Detroit, it should be spectacular.