November 14, 2018

“I think I may have met my match”; From the New York Jets to Hudson Yards, meet the men delivering the biggest commercial project in America

Jay Cross always wanted to develop “big, complicated projects.” Now the president of Related Hudson Yards is responsible for delivering the biggest, most complicated scheme in America - a job he says comes down, in part, to “herding cats.”

He said: “One of the greatest challenges is that there are a lot of people here and a lot of moving targets. It’s complicated. Each of the buildings have their own unique ownership structures but there are a lot of shared facilities so we need to make sure that everybody is paying their fair share for the shared environment. Because that’s the special sauce.”

The 28-acre scheme on the site of a former West Side backwater is set to become one of the city’s most well known new neighbourhoods. “When we started I think the Hudson Yards name had about a 7% brand recognition with New Yorkers,” Cross told EG. “Now it’s around a 90% recognition.”

More than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space and more than 100 shops has attracted tenants including Coach, L’Oreal, SoulCycle, an Equinox hotel, HBO, CNN and Sidewalk Labs to the site which Cross describes as “the new New York”.

The residential element of the scheme is 50% sold and while Cross concedes there is no doubt the market has slowed down, he Ian confident the offering at Hudson Yards is unique enough and at a price point that will continue to attract buyers.

Formerly a commercial real estate developer in Canada, Olympic athlete Cross was recruited in the 1990s by the NBA in Toronto where he worked with the Toronto Raptors before moving to Miami Heat and then to the NFL with the New York Jets.

In 2008 he returned to pure real estate with Hudson Yards.

For more on Hudson Yards, Cross’s take on the New York real estate market and how his career took him from property to sports and back again, listen to the podcast here.


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