When density meets demand, creativity pops up. What the??? New York is planning to create a whole neighborhood for 65,000 people OVER an active rail yard. See below for some cool renderings
and a moving graphic that is worth watching.

To summarize:
–They will build 300 concrete and steel caissons that will be inserted 40-80 feet into the ground. 
–Then they will pour a concrete slab that will hold…
6 skyscrapers
100 shops
20 restaurants
1 school

14 acres of parks (Hey, we have one of these in Phoenix. Click here to check it out.)

One other bonus: Below all the info is a map of Metro Phoenix compared to the size of Manhattan and San Francisco which are imposed.



Floating Neighborhood for NYC: How to Hover a Whole Megablock

Web Urbanist logo

(To view the videos and moving graphics from this article, please click here.)
NYC Floating Skyscraper

How do you fit an entire new neighborhood for 65,000 people, complete with offices, schools and streets, into the already congested and overdeveloped island of Manhattan without knocking anything down? Hover it. That’s the plan for Hudson Yards, the largest private development project in U.S. history, which will be erected on a super-strong platform over an existing active rail yard between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

The whole massive, incredibly heavy thing will barely touch the ground, resting on 300 concrete-sleeved steel caissons inserted 40-80 feet into the bedrock. Borrowed from bridge-building techniques, these supports will hold up a slab that will serve as the foundation of six skyscrapers, 100 shops, 20 restaurants, a school and 14 acres of parks.

NYC Floating Skyscraper 2


NYC Floating Skyscraper 3

The 26-acre West Side Yard over which this development will be built is a critical part of New York City’s transit system, serving overflow Long Island Railroad trains during rush hour with 30 tracks and space for storage and maintenance. Luckily, its original developers in the 1980s realized that one day the space would be prime for redevelopment, and left a gap around the edges of the yard just big enough for structural members to be installed without interrupting traffic.

NYC Floating Skyscraper 4

Since the trains will still be active while Hudson Yards is under construction, actually getting everything into the ground will be a bit of a challenge. The builders plan to sink the caissons in sections and then attach them to 100-foot trusses whenever there’s a window of opportunity in between moving trains.

NYC Floating Skyscraper 5

Gizmodo got an early look at the plans and has a series of mesmerizing gif images of exactly how everything will come together. It’s an interesting example of developers finding space for something new in a bustling metropolis without disturbing existing functionality, and even arguably improving a lot that many find an eyesore. The final phase of the city’s High Line park, set to open later in 2014, will connect directly to Hudson Yards, which should be complete by 2024.


Maps and Facts Unlimited

Map of the Month
November 2014

Density, 5 years Later

Our January 2010 Map of the Month compared the densities of New York City, San Francisco, and Metro Phoenix. While densities have increased slightly i.e. New York’s population 2.53%; San Francisco 4.0%; and Phoenix by 3.34%, the message is the same. As Phoenix emerges from the Great Recession we need to look in the rearview mirror and be realistic about density and absorption. Phoenix is not New York or San Francisco.
NY_Phx_Metro Area Size Comparison Map

Join the C2
You will receive concise insights on all things commercial real estate along with top level trade secrets.
Weekly Narrative