New York lost the 2012 Olympics, but the city’s bid for the summer games spurred another, visionary venture: building up the largest undeveloped parcel in Manhattan.
While London got the games, New York was left with the best opportunity for development remaining in town.
On Manhattan’s West Side, the old Hudson rail storage yards are surrounded by potholed roads, warehouses, low-rent brownstones, cheap delis and strip clubs. Crowds waiting for discount buses line 10th Avenue. And homeless New Yorkers camp out in desolate lots strewn with garbage.
But the area, also home to the global headquarters of The Associated Press, has seen progress in the seven years since New York lost its bid to host the Olympics.
On a hot summer day, passers-by catch a glimpse of a deep man-made hole in the ground — the core of a subway line extension to the area from Times Square. More than a dozen residential towers have been built near the Hudson River, along with several hotels. And both residents and tourists are flocking to the hugely popular High Line, an elevated rail line transformed into a grassy walkway.
This October, developers of the ambitious Hudson Yards project expect to break ground on a skyscraper where the Olympic stadium could have been.
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