Hudson Rising

| 17 Feb 2015 | 12:58

The massive new complex on the West side is coming into view

This will be the year the Hudson Yards project takes shape.

The massive real estate-transit-apartment project on the far West side has been buzzing away behind scaffolds for more than a year. Now, though, elements of the development are starting to become recognizable, and New Yorkers are starting to come to grips with how profoundly the development could change the balance of the city.

The numbers are astonishing: the land itself, from 30th to 34th street and Tenth Avenue to the West Side Highway, is the last remaining big piece of undeveloped property in Manhattan, a swath that had until fairly recently been a no-go zone. But thanks to the unqualified success of the High Line, and the creeping of Hell's Kitchen west and south, the area is getting a new look, tilting the balance of power in midtown Manhattan to the west.

The first tower in the complex, 10 Hudson Yards, will rise fast in 2014. That will be followed by 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space, retail, and a school. The extension of the 7 train arrives next year, as well.

What's remarkable about the project, at least so far, is a fairly remarkable lack of agita, with the community, with the city, with environmentalists. Could this be a blueprint for a new way forward when it comes to big-idea projects in Manhattan? That may be ambitious, with the final project not expected until 2024.

But it's a welcome start.