NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The streets on the West Side of Manhattan, in the 30s, have been largely deserted for years. But as of Friday, the area will become home to the largest and most expensive private real estate development in U.S. history known as Hudson Yards.

As CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported Thursday, the developers are banking on it being “the” destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike.

“Once upon a time, visitors came to New York and it was Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building,” retail specialist Esty Ottensoser said.

And now?

“I think your first stop is absolutely going to be Hudson Yards,” Ottensoser said.

The “Vessel” is at the center of Hudson Yards. (Photo: Hudson Yards)

It is a spectacle on the Hudson, but developers say it’s what you can’t see from that view of Hudson Yards that will attract more than 65,000 visitors to the site each day.

“We want to design a 365-day Christmas tree so that everybody that comes here will actually come see this,” Related Companies CEO Jeff Blau said.

It’s called the “Vessel,” and it New York’s newest landmark.

“There’s nothing like it,” Blau said.

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When CBS2’s Johnson first stood on the spot where the Vessel was to be built in 2016, it was hard to imagine. Three years later, 2,500 interconnecting steps have come together to form eight levels of an interactive piece of art meant to be climbed.

“This is a little bit of continuation of the high line,” Blau said.

If the Vessel isn’t adventurous enough, try the view from 30 Hudson Yards, which boasts the highest outdoor deck in the entire Western Hemisphere.

“How do we make it a lot more than just office, residential and retail? So that led to coming up with the Vessel, the Observation Deck.” resident Jay Cross said.

“All of that in a nutshell plus the wonderful parks and the gardens,” said Related Companies Senior VP Sherry Tobak.

The parks and gardens designed with 28,000 plants and 200 trees, set in air conditioned soil.

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“You’ve got a really cool feat of engineering going on here,” Alex Poots said.

And then there’s “The Shed.”

“We commission artists across performing arts, visual arts, popular culture. It’s for everyone,” said Poots, founding chief executive and artistic director.

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Poots said it’s a new type of performing arts center, built with a retractable roof for those in-between moments.

“Some arts and culture is much better outside, so we can just part the building and do outdoor shows,” Poots said.

Hudson Yards also wants wants you to come to 3DEN (Eden).

“In this space we have clean showers, abundant bathrooms, we have nap pods, we have a meditation, yoga area, and a variety of lounge areas,” 3DEN CEO Ben Silver said.

Silver said with so many different demographics here his space is meant to be a relaxing home away from home for all who come to Hudson Yards.

“It’s a city within a city so you have office worker, residents, tourists all in one place,” Silver said.

3DEN is $6 for a half hour. There will also be a cost for the Observation Deck when it opens next year. The Vessel is free, but you still need to reserve a ticket. And events at The Shed, which is actually an independent non-profit, vary in price, depending on the performance.


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