The far west side of Manhattan has been a flurry of activity and speculation in the last couple of years thanks to the debate over the development of the Hudson Rail Yards and a new stadium for the New York Jets.
In a scenario that has played out whenever a major new development proposal is made, developers and city government officials are squaring off against each other and against residents, environmentalists, and public advocates, all clamoring to make their voices heard over how best to use the area in debate.
That area encompasses roughly 50 blocks that have historically been dominated by warehouses, taxi garages, the Hudson Rail Road yards, the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and entrances to the Lincoln Tunnel. The area also happens to be, according to the New York City Department of City Planning, "[The] one last frontier available in Manhattan - the underutilized area bounded roughly by West 42nd Street and West 30th Street, Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River."
While the vast majority of Midtown Manhattan has been built out to near capacity, the West 30s and 40s have lain largely fallow for nearly a century. As more people have moved into the area in search of slightly cheaper rents and space becomes more and more of a premium in more developed neighborhoods however, developers have turned their attention to the area and considered its potential.
The biggest idea proposed for the neighborhood is a multi-million-dollar stadium to house the New York Jets - as well as serve as a potential home for the 2012 Olympic games, should New York City be chosen to host the event. While the stadium is to be the centerpiece of the development, the Department of City Planning says, "The vision for Hudson Yards is to transform today's underused Far West Side into a place where New Yorkers and tourists will want to live, work, play and visit."