How Will Hudson Yards Survive the Pandemic?

Sweetened by generous tax breaks, the project sold a packaged, stratospheric lifestyle to international tourists, millennial workers and part-time residents in a new frontier accessed by the extension of No. 7 subway line.

“Hudson Yards is in some ways disconnected from the city — it’s a city within a city, and it’s operating at a global scale,” said Kael Goodman, president and chief executive of Marketproof, a real estate data analysis firm. “It’s more like what might be happening in Hong Kong and other Tier 1 cities.”

The project’s first phase, running from 10th to 11th Avenues between 30th and 34th Streets, features four office towers, two condominiums, one mall, the Vessel and the Shed arts center. It officially opened to the public in March 2019, exactly a year before coronavirus hit the city. The second phase, which will run from 11th to 12th Avenues, will be dominated by residential towers.

Hudson Yards’s footprint of 28 square acres, half of which will be open space, is projected to accommodate 125,000 people who will live, work, study, shop and visit the area daily. There will be 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, and 4,000 new apartments, more than 10 percent of which will be subsidized housing.

Or that was the plan before the pause button of the coronavirus.

“The best thing to say about Hudson Yards is the jury is still out,” said Pierre E. Debbas, managing partner of Romer Debbas, a real estate law firm.

While Neiman Marcus’s bankruptcy has attracted inordinate attention, other retailers are struggling, too, with roughly 40 percent paying rent in April and May. Some retailers may have flexibility in their leases to renegotiate their rents if Neiman is no longer able to operate.

Still, Harrison Abramowitz, a managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate firm, said that if Neiman Marcus were to depart, other businesses would likely take over the space, whether as a whole, or in pieces, or even as office space.

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