NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The countdown is on for Friday’s opening of Hudson Yards, the largest and most expensive, private real estate development in U.S. history, right here on Manhattan’s West Side.

As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported Wednesday, the project also includes 1 million square feet of new stores and restaurants, and you don’t have to live there to enjoy them.

“I want people to be able come into Hudson Yards and never want to leave,” retail specialist Esty Ottensoser said.

And with all it has to offer, the developers say you won’t have to because more than 100 retailers are housed in this one location, called the “Shops at Hudson Yards.”

Dining and retail at Hudson Yards (Photo: Hudson Yards)

“You will be able to buy things you need from the drug store. You can go to the grocery store. You can grab a quick burger at Shake Shack,” said Kevin Stuessi, Hudson Yards’ vice president of dining.

To give you an idea of just how large this space is, picture this: 20 city blocks filled with shops and restaurants on seven different levels in an indoor space.

The blueprint is reminiscent of Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, a vertical city within a city that was designed to combine urban life with suburban features to create a completely self-sufficient community.

“We like to think we took it to another level in terms of mix of uses and ancillary amenities and uses throughout the complex,” said Jay Cross, president of Related Companies.

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Related Companies, the developer of Hudson Yards, had a dry run with the Time Warner Center, which company officials say transformed Columbus Circle. Now they’re hoping for the same with this project, located just south of the Javits Center in the West 30s.

“I grew up in New York,” Related Companies CEO Jeff Blau said. “As I think about this part of the city, this area which was an abandoned wasteland turning into Hudson Yards, it’s somewhat remarkable.”

As of this week, the new neighborhood’s tenants include the likes of Neiman Marcus and Cartier. Ottensoser is the development’s retail specialist.

“There really is something for everyone,” Ottensoser said. “We have Zara and H&M, and Lululemon and Sephora. We have the great luxury retailers.”

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But it begs the question: is Manhattan really a shopping-mall city?

Hudson Yards (Photo: Hudson Yards)

Stuessi certainly thinks so.

“It’s brand new neighborhood that has literally come together, connecting Hell’s Kitchen with the West Chelsea neighborhood,” Stuessi said.

“We want to be sophisticated but we want to be fun,” general manager Charles-Emmanuel Lopez added.

Wild Ink is one of more than 25 restaurants debuting at Hudson Yards. The restaurant is inspired by executive chef Peter Jin’s travel journal.

“The menu is always changing and evolving every time,” Jin said.

But there’s one thing that will remain the same.

“Yeah, it’s a fantastic view,” Jin said.

We’ll tell you more about that view of the “Vessel,” on Thursday. It’s one of many attractions at Hudson Yards meant to draw tourism to this once-desolate side of the city.


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