2021-02-07 — nytimes.com
the pandemic has ravaged New York City's real estate market and its premier, $25 billion development, raising significant questions about the future of Hudson Yards.
Hundreds of condominiums remain unsold, and the mall is barren of customers. Its anchor tenant, Neiman Marcus, filed for bankruptcy and closed permanently, and at least four other stores, as well as several restaurants, have also gone out of business.
... the promised second phase of Hudson Yards -- eight additional buildings, including a school, more luxury condos and office space -- appears on indefinite hold as the developer, the Related Companies, seeks federal financing for a nearly 10-acre platform on which it will be built.
Related made it clear before the outbreak that it intended to earn the bulk of its money at Hudson Yards through its condos and mall since Mr. Ross said it had been leasing office space at cost, without taking a profit.
The pandemic has laid bare the tough road Related faces. In 2020, 30 residential units sold at Hudson Yards, compared with 157 the year before, according to an analysis for The Times by the appraisal firm Miller Samuel.
Manhattan has a record number of condos for sale right now, especially luxury units like those at Hudson Yards, and it could take years for sales to truly bounce back, according to Nancy Wu, an economist at StreetEasy.
"Hudson Yards was built for a buyer that's no longer there and maybe partly a tenant that's no longer there, and that was someone who wanted to live in Manhattan but not live in the city per se," said Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and School of Cities, referring to the development's homogeneity and somewhat isolated location.
The retail picture is also bleak. The vast space occupied by the failed Neiman Marcus store will no longer be taken by another retailer. Instead, Related will convert it into more offices.
Weekday traffic at the Hudson Yards subway station, part of the No. 7 line extension the city paid for to help make the development possible, plunged to an average of 6,500 riders in December, a sharp drop from the 20,000 daily average in 2019...
The lack of shoppers at the mall has cut into Related's revenue because the company structured some retail leases so that shops pay rent based on a percentage of their monthly sales. In addition, a number of leases were specifically tied to the fate of Neiman Marcus -- if it closed, smaller stores would not have to pay rent or could break their leases without penalty.
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