Hudson Yards—hailed as the future of retail—has its share of skeptics

“But [Hudson Yards] hits on every element, from office to residential, that will fuel the retail project and drive traffic,” he said. “Ultimately, what is going to make this successful is ensuring from a merchandising perspective that there are unique elements that keep people coming back there.”
The leasing team at Related has worked, for years now, to make Hudson Yards everything a “mall of the future” should be: extra dining options in place of too much apparel retail, fitness (the biggest Equinox gym in the world will open there this summer) and e-commerce brands to lure millennial shoppers. Mount Sinai Health System will also be opening a “state-of-the-art” facility for clinical care there.
In picking tenants for Hudson Yards, “we’ve assorted ourselves broadly to get a good read on who the consumer is, then we can make adjustments along the way,” Webber Hudson, an executive vice president with Related Urban, a division within Related, said.
The retail and restaurant spaces are about 90 percent leased at the property, leaving room to “watch sales reports very carefully … and build into strengths,” he added. Hudson said he suspects athletic apparel brands, like Lululemon, will do well at Hudson Yards from the start, meriting more of those types of retailers to be added to the property in time.
“You just won’t find what we’ve done anywhere else,” Hudson said.
Some say the retail at Hudson Yards will be a success because of what surrounds it: roughly 4,000 residences and more than 40,000 workers — at corporations like Tapestry, L’Oreal, CNN and Warner Bros. — will be flocking in and out of the neighborhood each day.
“They’ve basically created this 18-hour city, maybe even a 24-hour city,” said Mark Kaplan, principal and chief operating officer at Ripco Real Estate, a New York-area brokerage firm. “You have significant office space and residential units within Hudson Yards. … You’ll never need to leave.”
“From a retailer’s perspective, that means you are going to have constant foot traffic, throughout all times of day,” he added. “And I think they’ve created a retail mix that will be attractive no matter who you are.”
Again, though, it will take time for that traffic to come. As more of the construction at Hudson Yards is completed, more people should file in.

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