Hudson Yards’ Shops, Restaurants, and Thomas Heatherwick’s Iconic Sculpture Officially Open To The Public

The Tenth Avenue entrance to The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Photo by Michael Young

At noon today, New York’s newest neighborhood will ceremonially open for business. Hudson Yards‘ first public-facing attractions—the Shops & Restaurants and Thomas Heatherwick’s interactive sculpture Vessel—will welcome the crowds that have watched patiently from afar as the project’s soaring, glass-sheathed towers have transformed the skyline. Elkus Manfredi Architects is the designer of the seven-story retail center, of which Neiman Marcus is the anchor tenant. The city’s largest indoor shopping mall with more than 100 stores, it features 720,000 leasable square feet with nearly 85 percent of the space already occupied.

Last night, an exclusive preview was held inside the mall as celebratory kickoffs began for the massive retail complex.

Looking up the main atrium he mall from the ground floor. Photo by Michael Young

Thousands of people made their way through each of the seven floors of the one-million square foot retail space. Photo by Michael Young

“The Restaurants” will feature a number of indoor and outdoor dining options curated by Chef Thomas Keller, while David Chang and Enjo “Jo” Park will open the 5,000-square-foot Kāwi and Peach Mart restaurant on the fifth floor. There will also be the highly anticipated “Mercado Little Spain,” a 35,000-square-foot Spanish version of Eataly that features the best of Chef Jose Andres and the Adria Brothers. While Thomas Keller’s restaurants will not be opening for business today, Mercado Little Spain will open at 4:00PM, and Kāwi and Peach Mart will only open for lunch.

Meanwhile, Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s 150-foot-tall art sculpture, will finally welcome visitors to ascend its 16 stories and take in views of the surrounding development. Access is free, but tickets must be reserved on Hudson Yards’ website. People will be able to bring up to five extra guests per party, and tickets must be presented upon arrival.

Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel sculpture with 30 Hudson Yards towering behind. Photo by Michael Young

Looking at Thomas Heatherwick’s sculpture before the grand opening. Photo by Michael Young

The same view at night. Photo by Michael Young

In addition to the opening of Vessel and the Shops & Restaurants, today also marks the launch of the residential units at 35 Hudson Yards. The 1,000-foot-tall structure is designed by David Childs of Skidmore Owings & Merrill and yields 1.1 million square feet of space divided among 200 units, a 60,000-square-foot Equinox Hotel, offices, and ground-floor retail.

The foundations of 50 Hudson Yards reach street level (bottom) while foundations for The Spiral are getting underway (center). Photo by Michael Young

The last component of the first phase to finish is 50 Hudson Yards, designed by Norman Foster of Foster + Partners. His future  2.9-million-square-foot office tower will soon rise 985 feet and stand next to 30 Hudson Yards. Foster’s full-city block structure should finish by 2022.

What seemed like a city of dreams has now become reality, and finally reached the finish line. Hudson Yards is a new neighborhood built from scratch that quickly rose above Midtown in the blink of an eye. Creating six towering skyscrapers of glass, concrete, steel, and stone, a moveable cultural center, multi-million-dollar outdoor public sculpture, and a 1-million-square-foot, seven-story indoor shopping mall may have seemed like an impossible task. But today, everyone who contributed to the colossal $20 billion project can rest assured that the 11.9-million-square-foot master plan has come together.

Hudson Yards. Photo by Michael Young

The next step for Hudson Yards will be the fulfilling of its second phase, which will cover the remainder of the rail yards between Eleventh Avenue and the West Side Highway with 6.22 million square feet of proposed office, residential, retail, and educational space.

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