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The Real Deal
The site is next to Related’s Icon Las Olas

Related Group paid $8 million for a development site on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard as it continues to bet on the city.

The Miami-based real estate developer bought the 0.35-acre parcel for $525 per square foot, marking the highest-priced land trade on Las Olas Boulevard, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Steelbridge, a Chicago and Miami-based private equity firm, sold the property.

Robert Given, Errol Blumer, Troy Ballard and Ricky Giles of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the deal.

The site has flexible zoning and could be developed into a residential, retail, hotel and office project, according to a press release.

The property is one of the last remaining undeveloped single parcels in downtown Fort Lauderdale, with 70 feet of frontage along Las Olas Boulevard. It’s next to Steelbridge’s Las Olas Square, a Class A, 278,635-square-foot mixed-use property anchored by the 17-story SunTrust Center. It’s also next to Related’s 44-story Icon Las Olas, a 272-unit multifamily project.

Known for its condo towers in Miami, Related is expanding its presence in Fort Lauderdale.

In December, Related scored a $47.9 million construction loan to build its New River Yacht Club III project in downtown Fort Lauderdale. In Fort Lauderdale Beach, Related developed Auberge Beach Residences and Spa, a luxury condo project at 2200 North Ocean Boulevard.
TPA Group/City of Alpharetta
Alpharetta is set to decide whether to approve a new 62-acre mixed-use project that would bring 255 apartments, 60 townhomes, 31,525 square feet of retail/restaurant space, and 630,000 square feet of office space to Haynes Bridge Road at Georgia 400.

The city's planning commission is set to review developer TPA Group's 360 Tech Village on Dec. 5, and the city council is scheduled to hear it on Dec. 16.

The new development would be north of the intersection of Georgia 400 and Haynes Bridge Road, on the west side of Haynes Bridge south of Lakeview Parkway.

The city's planning staff is recommending approval of the project with conditions, including that office development will be limited to 630,000 square feet, retail/restaurant space will be limited to 31,525 square feet, a minimum 3,000-square-foot neighborhood grocery store will be required, there will be no drive-through restaurants, no more than 10 percent of the townhomes will be allowed to be rented, and a minimum of 25 acres of civic space and 7 acres of amenity space will be required.

Also required would be pedestrian and bicycle connections throughout the site, including between buildings and recreational facilities within the development and across Lakeview Parkway to the existing office development. Alpharetta planners want the corner of Haynes Bridge Road and Lakeview Parkway to be designed with a minimum 5,000-square-foot green space with a focal point sculpture. TPA Group would also be required to provide a minimum of six original sculptures located at prominent locations throughout the development, as approved by the city with input from the local arts committee.

TPA Group and architect Nelson Worldwide have just submitted new renderings of the project, see the adjacent slideshow.

Midtown Union picks hotel development team
Midtown Union will include three buildings on a 3.8-acre site. In total, it will have 610,000 square feet of office, a 210-key hotel, 355 housing units, 33,500 square feet of retail and 1,850 parking spaces.
18-acre town center mixed-use project moving forward in Snellville
The Grove at Towne Center mixed-use development is slated for 18 acres in the city of Snellville.

Luxury Retreat Surrounded By Panoramic Views

TPA Group said in September it was in late-stage negotiations with a Fortune 500 company that needs up to 120,000 square feet of office space in the project.

In a discussion of the project, Alpharetta planners note that, "The applicant proposes 475,680 square feet of new office on the site, which is in addition to the 154,400 square feet of office building at the southwest corner of Lakeview Parkway and Morrison Parkway. If the applicant’s request is approved, a total of 630,080 square feet of office could be constructed within the master plan. For comparison, Northwinds is approved for 2.8 million square feet of office on 260 acres and Avalon for 660,000 square feet on 86 acres."

The project could have 4,412 office workers, city planners say.

The request includes two low-rise, loft-style office buildings; 3-story, 200,000 square foot office building along Lakeview Parkway and a 2-story, 120,000 square foot office building near the lake. A third office building is proposed at the corner of Morrison Parkway and Lakeview Parkway and is six stories with 150,000 square feet.

An earlier plan for the site proposed a new 211-room hotel, but it has been eliminated from the newest plan.
Studio 216
Wright Runstad is about to jump north across Spring Boulevard. The planned Phase III of its 36-acre mixed-use Spring District project effectively began last month, with the signing of another lease agreement with Facebook.

The lease is for the planned Block 6 office building, which also just entered design review with the city of Bellevue. It’s addressed at 1646 123rd Ave. N.E., on the north side of Northeast Spring Boulevard, which is under construction.

Wright Runstad’s website confirms that Facebook has already leased Block 16 and Block 24, which are now under construction on the south side of Spring. Those two buildings will have about 515,000 square feet of offices (plus a little retail); Block 6 will add another 320,000 square feet or so.

All three buildings are designed by NBBJ. Turner Construction is building both Block 16, which is expected to open early next year, and Block 24, which could open in early 2021.

The Block 6 lease was signed in mid-October and recorded late that month. It’s for 15 years, with 12 years of subsequent renewal options. And there’s a right of first opportunity to buy the building if Wright Runstad opts to sell. The Block 16 and 24 leases have similar terms.

Broderick Group is Wright Runstad’s broker for all the office space; its third quarter Eastside report indicates that Block 6 could open in 2022. Wright Runstad already has its master use permit, also with NBBJ, for the whole project, so Block 6 design review won’t take that long.

In general, Phase I at the Spring District was the apartment component on its south end, at Northeast 12th Street. AMLI Residential and Security Properties have developed multiple buildings with almost 800 units. Retail and a child care center are also included.

North of that, Phase II includes Block 16, Block 24, REI’s headquarters (set to open next year), the GIX building (already open), the small creative office/brewpub building (soon), ancillary structures and park.

Ahead, Phase III could total around 1.5 million square feet of offices (including Block 6), along with apartments, a small retail/bike-parking pavilion, a hotel and more retail. (The exact mix and numbers are subject to change.)

The entire Spring District is thought to be a $2.3 billion project, with JPMorgan and Shorenstein Properties among its backers.
Ossip van Duivenbode
Combining playful design with contemporary architecture, Dutch firm MVRDV has just completed WERK12, a mixed-use development near Munich’s East Station that catches the eye with its bold and expressive art facade. Lifting verbal expressions from German versions of Donald Duck comics, the facade is punctuated with 5-meter-tall lettering that spell out words like ‘WOW’ and ‘HMPH.’ Located at the heart of the Werksviertel-Mitte district, the project is part of an urban regeneration plan to transform a former industrial site.

Spanning an area of 7,700 square meters, WERK12 features five floors occupied by restaurants and bars on the ground floor, the offices of Audi Business Innovations on the top floor, and a three-story gym facility in between with one story dedicated to an indoor swimming pool. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls wrap around the building to bring natural light and views of the city in. The line between interior and exterior is further blurred with the addition of external staircases that curl around the building and connect to 3.25-meter-wide outdoor terraces on each floor.

The bold facade was created in collaboration with local artists Christian Engelmann and Beate Engl. The lettering and the colloquial expressions are a nod to the area’s graffiti culture and use of signage. At night, the letters light up to create a “vibrant lightshow.” The five-meter-tall letters also span the height of each floor, which have extra-tall ceilings that allow for mezzanines or other level changes for greater flexibility.

“The area of the Werksviertel-Mitte district has already undergone such interesting changes, transforming from a potato factory to a legendary entertainment district,” says founding partner of MVRDV Jacob van Rijs. “With our design, we wanted to respect and celebrate that history, while also creating a foundation for the next chapter. WERK12 is stylish and cool on one hand, but on the other it doesn’t take itself so seriously – it’s not afraid to say ‘PUH’ to passers-by!”

A canyon-like tower by MVRDV and a twisting structure by Studio Gang are among the buildings to be revealed for a new San Francisco development.

MVRDV, Studio Gang, Henning Larsen and WORKac make up the four practices that have teamed up to design buildings for a new neighbourhood called Mission Rock.

The development will be located in the Mission Bay neighbourhood, on 3rd Street in between Terry Francois Boulevard and Mission Rock Street. It will span a 28-acre waterfront site on San Francisco Bay that is currently used as a parking lot.

Rotterdam firm MVRDV has proposed mixed-use tower, Building A, that features a 23-storey construction with box-shaped units that project out to form a pixelated effect.

It is nicknamed The Canyon because MVRDV referenced California's mountains when designing, with the intention to bring back the city's hilly topography missing on the flat asphalt plot.

"We wanted to establish a dialogue between the waterfront, the ballpark, and the robust Californian rock formations," said MVRDV co-founder Nathalie de Vries.

"Those formations inspired The Canyon's architectural form: steep rocky walls with a narrow valley running between them, thus creating a mix of apartments of different sizes, roof terraces, and lush public spaces which feel welcoming to all."

The project comprises a central tower as a "canyon" that will "fracture" the north-east podium to make a building form of its own and also a lush space at ground level. Another volume, known as the "annex", will contain a separate lobby on the east side of the building.

At the base of MVRDV's tower is a podium with a similarly faceted, red exterior. Located here will be retail, office and commercial spaces.

The building will scale 240 feet (73 metres) and contain about 285 residential units. Mechanical equipment will be housed on the roof in an additional 14-foot (4.3-metre) volume, and a rooftop patio, partial basement for bike parking, and space for the District Energy System round out the design.

US firm Studio Gang, meanwhile, has conceived a 23-storey tower with floors that twist away from one another to create inlets for planted terraces. Ceramics will clad each floor to offer varying hues.

"Building F will be at the heart of Mission Rock, housing amenities for the entire neighbourhood that overlook a new public plaza and vibrant streetscape," said Studio Gang's founder Jeanne Gang.

"For the residences, we designed a tower inscribed with terraces, extending this indoor-outdoor living and offering views amidst elevated bio-diverse gardens."

Similar to MVRDV building, Studio Gang's project will accommodate residences, shops and commercial spaces.

Danish studio Henning Larsen Architects and New York firm WORKac have both created office buildings for Mission Rock.

Like MVRDV, Henning Larsen Architects has taken cues from San Francisco's hilly terrain for Building G. The lower floors are stepped to create terraces for planting, drawing similarities to Studio Gang's structure, while the gridded facade extends at the top to form a balustrade around a rooftop garden.

"Contrary to the contemporary trend of sleek all-glass commercial towers, the aesthetic of Mission Rock reflects the historic architecture of industrial San Francisco where tactile materials bring an inviting, comfortable environment and deep facades create a dynamic play of light and shadow throughout the day," said Henning Larsen partner an design principal Louis Becker.

"An active ground plane with diverse retail programming and engaging streetscape design will define the success of Mission Rock as a new, yet authentic San Francisco neighbourhood," added Henning Larsen design manager Kelly Holzkamp.

WORKac has created a more linear office building with volumes that form a pixellated exterior. The protrusions are also used to create outdoor areas.

"We thought we could take advantage of all the setbacks at the different levels by carving new openings down the face of the building," said WORKac co-founder Dan Wood. "That way every floor has a garden, open to the sky."

"This a building that reflects the city's embrace of the outdoor life so that no matter where you are, you have access to workspace outside," he added.

Mission Rock as a whole encompasses 12 plots – seven for residential, four
MVRDV has unveiled designs for the Green Villa, a striking mixed-use building draped in greenery for the Dutch village of Sint-Michielsgestel. Created in collaboration with Van Boven Architecten, the four-story Green Villa will be located on the town’s southern edge and will use a grid “rack” system to host a wide variety of potted plants, bushes and trees, including the likes of forsythia, jasmine, pine and birch. The project will be a landmark project for the village and will promote sustainability with improved biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Located on a corner lot next to the Dommel River, the 1,400-square-meter Green Villa will house a new ground-floor office space for real estate developer and client, Stein, as well as five apartments on the three floors above in addition to underground parking. The building shape relates to the existing urban fabric with its adoption of the mansard roof shape used on the neighboring buildings. A new architectural typology is also put forth with the use of a strikingly lush facade that will help the structure blend in with the nearby river, fields and trees.

“This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening,” explained Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. “The idea from the nineties of city parks as an oasis in the city is too limited. We need a radical ‘green dip’: as will be shown soon in a book by The Why Factory with the same title, we should also cover roofs and high-rise facades with greenery. Plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities and promote biodiversity.”

“This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening,” explained Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. “The idea from the nineties of city parks as an oasis in the city is too limited. We need a radical ‘green dip’: as will be shown soon in a book by The Why Factory with the same title, we should also cover roofs and high-rise facades with greenery. Plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities and promote biodiversity.”

The Green Villa will be defined by a square grid four bays wide and three bays deep, in which modules for bedrooms and living spaces will slot inside. The facade will be made up of a “rack” of shelves of varying depths to support a “three-dimensional arboretum,” and each plant will have its own nameplate with additional information. The plants will be watered year-round with a sensor-controlled irrigation system that uses recycled rainwater. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020.

Los Angeles Clippers/AECOM
The Los Angeles Clippers have released initial renderings of their brand new 18,500-seat arena expected to open in 2024. Team owner Steve Ballmer and the city of Inglewood are moving forward with the $1 billion, 900,000-square-foot NBA arena over neighborhood concerns and lawsuits over the project,

Designed by local architecture and engineering firm AECOM, the metal-clad, oval-shaped arena is said to be inspired by the “swoosh” of a basketball net. Ballmer told ESPN, “I want it to be a noisy building… I really want that kind of energy.”

The grand vision includes a basketball arena, corporate office building, sports medicine clinic, retail, community and youth-oriented spaces, parking garages, a solar-panel-clad roof, indoor-outdoor “sky gardens,” and an outdoor game-viewing area with massive digital screens.

Ballmer’s goal is to create, “the best home in all of sports,” he said in a statement accompanying the release of the renderings. “What that means to me is an unparalleled environment for players, for fans, for sponsors and for the community of Inglewood. Our goal is to build a facility that resets fans’ expectations while having a transformative impact on the city we will call home.” Ballmer, one of the richest people in the world, will privately finance the mixed-use development.

The project must overcome several legal challenges that cloud its potential success. First, from the Uplight Inglewood Coalition, an organization looking to strengthen Inglewood residents’ political power, is suing the city on allegations that the city’s deal to sell the land for the arena violated California state law. The California Surplus Land Act requires that public land be prioritized for affordable housing development before any other uses. Housing costs in the area had soared since 2016, when the NFL agreed to let the Rams and Chargers relocate to Inglewood.

“In the midst of booming development—which has caused skyrocketing rents and the loss of affordable housing—it simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the needs of Inglewood residents without investing in the needs of residents,” Uplift Inglewood member D’artagnan Scorza said in a recent press release, “Public land should be used for the public good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”

Second, James Dolan, owner and CEO of Madison Square Garden, owner of the New York Knicks and the nearby Forum has also sued the city, accusing leaders of secretly negotiating with the Clippers to build on land that it once leased. The 26-acre complex will house all team operations, from corporate headquarters to the team’s training facility. The Clippers currently practice in Playa Vista, have a business office in downtown Los Angeles, and play at the Staples Center (shared with rival Lakers and NHL’s Kings since 1999). Their lease ends in 2024, putting pressure on team ownership to finish construction on time for the next season.
Oxford Properties
The Canadian metropolis is going vertical as a building spree of billion-dollar projects continues

A newly proposed mega-development in downtown Toronto was announced late last month, highlighting how the city’s vertical growth spree continues to pick up momentum.

The $2.7 billion ($3.5 billion Canadian dollars) Union Park project, helmed by Oxford Properties Group, a partner in New York’s Hudson Yards, will be one of the largest mixed-use project in the city’s history.

Set on four acres just north of two city landmarks, Rogers Centre (the sports stadium formerly known as the SkyDome) and CN Tower (the city’s iconic communications and observation tower), the development will consist of twin curved 58- and 48-story office towers and apartments surrounded by newly landscaped public parkland, and bring 4.3 million square feet of new mixed-use office, residential, and retail spaces to downtown.

This development comes at a time when other large-scale mixed-use projects, such as the 12-acre Sidewalk Labs-backed Quayside smart city project and The Well, a 7-acre “21st century city,” highlight the city’s rapid expansion. A growing tech industry and expanded immigration, among other factors, have fueled a Toronto condo boom; there are 400 proposed high-rise projects in the pipeline, according to Rider Levett Bucknall a global construction firm, and the city has the most construction cranes in North America.

According to the Financial Post, other forthcoming Toronto mega-projects include CIBC SQUARE, a two-tower development adding 3 million square feet of space and a new Microsoft office, and a plan by Cadillac Fairview and Investment Management Corporation of Ontario to develop 1.2 million-plus square feet of mixed-use office and retail at 160 Front Street West.

Union Park fills a gap in the market, said Oxford vice president Carlo Timpano, shifting the financial sector of the city west by providing additional office space for expansion, and adding needed retail and residential space for an underserved part of the downtown core.

The floors for the office portion of the development are designed to measure 100,000 square feet, providing the large, open floor plans favored by tech tenants.

Union Park will also add public amenities to the downtown, including an enclosed winter garden for all-season recreation and a new two-acre park built atop a covered rail line. The park will point towards Lake Ontario, helping provide a new pedestrian pathway linking the business district with the waterfront.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, which designed San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower, with local support from Toronto’s Adamson Associates, the project will be spread across two towers, and add 800 apartment units and 200,000 square feet of retail. The city’s PATH underground pedestrian tunnel system will be expanded to connect to the Union Park Project.

The two-acre park, which will cap the Union station rail corridor between Blue Jays Way and the John Street Bridge, is designed by OJB Architects. It’s not the first such project under development; the city’s own Rail Deck Park, a proposed 21-acre green space that just won an appeal against stopping its construction, will be right around the corner.

Oxford, which is starting the public engagement and municipal approvals processes now, expects to begin construction in 2023 and finish within five to six years.
Weldon Brewster
Fleet of concrete trucks mobilized for near-record placement

The 18.5-hour construction of the 13,478-cu-yd mat for the $1-billion Grand mixed-use development in Los Angeles ranks as the second largest continuous casting of a foundation in Los Angeles, after the Wilshire Grand’s, which, at 19.5 hours, set a Guinness World Record in 2014.

At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at a rate of approximately 1,000 cu yds per hour, 140 workers from the Conco Cos. began the job, which required 1,348 truck trips to six batch plants, for the mat, which contains 13,478 cu yd of concrete. The mat will support a 39-story tower.

“Due to precise and complicated logistics, the mat’s coordination started four months prior to the actual pour,” says Barry Widen, vice president of design and construction for developer Related Cos.

The mat is 39,303 sq ft with a thickness that varies from 6 ft to 12 ft. The concrete truck fleet traveled eight times between the site and six batch plants. With seven of eight concrete truck pumps staged on streets, Related coordinated with Los Angeles City Council District 14, and the city’s Dept. of Transportation and Bureau of Engineering’s Major Transit and Transportation Construction Traffic Management Committee (TCTMC) to minimize the impact to traffic, which required complete closures of Olive Street and 2nd Street and directional closures on Grand Avenue and 1st Street.

In February, Related and partner CORE USA broke ground on the project, designed by Gehry Partners and located across the street from Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall. The project is expected to create 10,000 new jobs and $1.3 billion in one-time total economic output for Los Angeles County. The Grand will include 176,000 sq feet of retail and a hotel in 20-story second tower. Related expects the second mat will be cast this month.

AECOM is the Grand’s construction manager and DCI Engineers is the project’s structural engineer.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to clarify that there were 1,348 truck trips required for this concrete placement. The project team has not specified the number of trucks utilized.
In a bid to revitalize Singapore’s Bedok Town Centre, international design firm ONG&ONG has completed HEARTBEAT@BEDOK, an award-winning, mixed-use development that serves as a key civic and community space for Bedok residents. The community building is also a beacon for sustainability and follows passive design principles to minimize energy demands as well as building operation and maintenance costs. A cooling microclimate is created with lush landscaping used throughout the site and around the building, which is draped with greenery on every floor.

Located on Singapore’s east coast, the HEARTBEAT@BEDOK was commissioned as part of the Housing and Development Board’s ‘Remaking Our Heartland’, an initiative that was announced in 2007 to ensure older towns and neighborhoods are adequately modernized to keep pace with the nation’s development. To bring new life to the area, the architects transformed a public park in the heart of the Bedok neighborhood into the site of a new community center that brings residents of different backgrounds together and cultivates community spirit.

“The Heartbeat@Bedok is an architecturally distinctive community building that is defined by the highest standards in modern sustainability,” the design firm explained. “Featuring an inverted podium-and-blocks design strategy, spaces within the new building are predicated on functionality. The elevated podium allows for optimized natural ventilation, with a group of microclimates created around internal public spaces. A covered area extends 145 m diagonally across the site, creating a 3-story atrium that enhances porosity between floors, while also working to improve overall connectivity and visual integration of the internal spaces.”

Completed in June 2017, the mixed-use development includes a community club, sports and recreation center, public library, polyclinic, a senior care center and public green space. In addition to the abundance of greenery, solar heat and radiation is mitigated with tapered facade glazing, solar fins and optimized passive solar conditions. A rainwater collection system and gray water system were also integrated into the building to ensure responsible and sustainable water use.

dixon jones
scottish artist david mach has unveiled designs for his first ever building – a new arts, events and conference venue made out of more than 30 shipping containers arranged in a sculptural form. the unique multi-purpose building named ‘mach 1’, will act as the marketing suite for the 43 acre edinburgh park development masterplanned by stirling prize-nominated architects dixon jones.

resembling a collapsed jenga set, the building’s dramatic shape will be 50ft tall at its highest point and was intended to make a statement that would to draw attention to the new quarter. the venue includes a large double height gallery space, which will exhibit a full site model, detailed building models, illustrations and information boards as well as audio-visual displays of edinburgh park itself.

edinburgh park is planned to be a 43-acre urban quarter west of the city of edinburgh, the largest single-site development currently underway in the city. it is currently in the planning stages, with mach 1 itself having recently been submitted for planning. the building, which will have around 3500 sq ft of floor space, could open by the spring of next year if planning permission is secured for a vacant site next to the edinburgh park central tram stop.

‘there is quite a dramatic shape to the building. it will be something that you really notice. it is a building that really makes a statement about itself. it will be painted one colour, possibly with a reference to that great forth bridge red,’ said david mach in an interview with the architects journal.

‘it is a building with a promise of a life in other ways – as a festival fringe venue, a great place for comedy, for music, for talks. the look of the building is the important thing to me as a sculptor and now as an accidental architect.’
In May, German architectural firm Ingenhoven Architects broke ground on Kö-Bogen II, a sustainable mixed-use development envisioned as the “new green heart” of Düsseldorf, Germany. Designed to visually extend the adjoining Hofgarten park into the inner city, Kö-Bogen II wraps the sloping facades of its two buildings with hornbeam hedges that total nearly 5 miles in length. The hedges and turfed rooftop spaces will also help purify the air and combat the city’s heat island effect by providing a cooling microclimate.

Located at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, Kö-Bogen II will serve as a commercial and office complex covering 42,000 square meters of gross floor area offering retail, restaurants, office space, local recreation and a five-story underground parking garage with 670 spaces. The development comprises a five-story trapezoid-shaped main building and a smaller triangular building that cluster around a valley-like plaza. The sloping facades, which will be planted with hornbeam hedges, open up the plaza to views of the iconic Dreischeibenhaus and the Düsseldorf Theater nearby. The architects will also be refurbishing the roof, facade and public areas of the Düsseldorf Theater.

“In order to do justice to the overall urban design situation, the design of Kö-Bogen II deliberately avoids a classical block-edged development such as that along the Schadowstrasse shopping street,” the architects explained in a press release. “In addition, the idea of green architecture has been applied systematically, thus distinguishing the development from conventional architectural solutions.”

Ascending to a building height of 27 meters, the hornbeam hedges will offer seasonal interest by changing color throughout the year. The turfed surfaces planted on the triangular building’s sloped facades will be accessible to passersby, who can use the space as an open lawn for rest and relaxation. Kö-Bogen II is slated to open in the spring of 2020.

Related Santa Clara, one of the largest projects in the Bay Area, plans to create over 9 million square feet of offices, housing, hotels and retail on 240 acres next to Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Developer Related Cos. intends to start construction next year on the $8 billion project, previously known as CityPlace Santa Clara, which survived dueling lawsuits between Santa Clara and its neighbor, San Jose. The first phase is set to open in 2023.

In a battle over Silicon Valley’s future growth, San Jose sued Santa Clara in 2016 and alleged that the project, which includes 5.4 million square feet of office space and 1,680 housing units, would lead to more housing demand and additional traffic in San Jose.

In response to San Jose’s lawsuit, Santa Clara sued to block Santana Row, a large office project planned in San Jose. The two cities settled both lawsuits last year, allowing both Related Santa Clara and Santana Row to be built in exchange for payments to both cities to fund transit improvements.

The clash underscored Silicon Valley’s growing pains amid the red-hot economy, powered by big tech companies like Google, which plans to build a giant campus in San Jose, and Apple, which leased space in Santa Clara last year. Job growth has far outpaced new housing, with the Bay Area adding 14,900 new homes in 2017 compared to 52,700 jobs, according to government data.

The amount of housing was limited at Related Santa Clara because the site was previously used as landfill and required additional environmental approvals, according to Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. She said other parts of the city will add more housing, such as the adjacent Tasman East area, where 4,500 units are planned.

The project will replace an underused golf course at 5155 Stars and Stripes Drive, she said. Legal challenges aren’t fully resolved: David’s Restaurant, a tenant on the site, is fighting a city eviction and use of eminent domain.


Did you know you can access The Chronicle’s photo archives?

Crowds arrive early on opening day of the Golden Gate International Exposition. Feb. 18, 1939.
Stephen Eimer, a Related executive vice president, said the developer was attracted to the site because of its proximity to transit from the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority and Amtrak and Altamont Corridor Express trains. VTA light rail trains will connect to Caltrain stations in Mountain View and San Jose and a soon-to-open BART station in Milpitas. (The project website confusingly notes that BART is coming to the city of Santa Clara in 2025. While technically true, that station is 6 miles from the stadium area and will not offer convenient transit connections.)

The project will generate $17 million in annual taxes and fees and create 25,000 jobs. It includes 170 affordable housing units. An additional 700 hotel rooms are planned.
Zhu Enlong via Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design
Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design has transformed 10 shipping containers into a striking mixed-use structure on Shanghai’s Chongming Island in China. Located on an open grass field, the building has been named “The Solid and Void” after the staggered arrangement of the shipping containers, which seamlessly connect to outdoor spaces framed by angular timber elements. To further tie the building to the outdoors, the architects used a predominately natural materials palette and white-painted walls to blend the structure into the landscape.

Challenged by the site’s remote location and constrained by the narrow interiors of the shipping containers, Yiduan Shanghai Interior Design decided to think outside the box — literally. The designers expanded the project’s usable floor area to 19,375 square feet by adding “void boxes”: outdoor platforms framed by timber elements that extend the interiors of the containers to the outdoors.

“The added boxes, framed by grilles, increased usable area, met the functional demands and formed a contrast of solidness and void with the containers,” the designers explained. “Natural light can be filtered through grilles, generating a poetic view of light and shadows. The containers, and the new boxes generated from them, together produce staggered and overlapping architectural form, making the building look modern and futuristic.”

The three-story building consists of a reception and display area on the first floor, a cafe and restaurant on the second floor and office space with meeting rooms on the third floor. Large windows pull the outdoors in; the thoughtfully designed indoor circulation guides users to different views of the landscape as they move through the building. The modern and minimalist appearance of the building helps keep the focus on the natural surroundings. Elements of nature also punctuate the building, from artfully placed rocks that line the walkways to the winding stream that runs through the middle of the building.

Architecture firm BIG has unveiled its second project for Ecuador's capital city: a mixed-use tower comprising two curved blocks covered in herringbone-patterned cladding and pockets of greenery.

Revealed today, BIG's mixed-used EPIQ tower was developed in collaboration with Quito's Uribe & Schwarzkopf. It marks BIG's second project in the city after the IQON tower, which was revealed last year and is currently under construction.

Described as a "vertical city", the 24-storey EPIQ will provide residential, commercial, and office space on a plot in the city's Parque La Carolina neighbourhood. Its design draws on details found in nearby area Old City – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"The historical centre of Quito with its red herringbone sidewalks is a bombardment of forms, geometry, typography and colour," said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels.

EPIQ comprises two interlocking structures covered in pinkish tiles, as a reference to the hues of the Old City's salmon pink buildings that date back to the 1EPIQ comprises two interlocking structures covered in pinkish tiles, as a reference to the hues of the Old City's salmon pink buildings that date back to the 16th century. Tiles in varying tones will cover different portions of the fragmented building.

6th century. Tiles in varying tones will cover different portions of the fragmented building.

EPIQ comprises two interlocking structures covered in pinkish tiles, as a reference to the hues of the Old City's salmon pink buildings that date back to the 16th century. Tiles in varying tones will cover different portions of the fragmented building.

"As architects, we are often a little afraid to play with colour – in Quito we thought it could be interesting to use colour to accentuate the different building blocks and give each volume its own shade of red," said Ingels.

Large green pockets will break up the form of the tower, as a reference the 65.5-acre (26.5-hectare) landscaped park it faces, and provide residents with access to outdoor space.

"At the south tip of La Carolina park, our aim is to create a three dimensional community: a constellation of building volumes of different sizes that form a holistic whole offering the residents and their families a variety of sun-filled openings, passages, parks and pockets for play, social life, work and enjoyment," Ingels added.

Angular windows cover much of the curved exterior to provide ample natural light, as well as vistas from almost every part of the building.

Renderings show that the residences will have an open-plan layout and simple decor, including a mix of either white or wood surface.

Alongside private balconies, each resident will have access to larger, communal outdoor spaces scattered across the tower.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures
The defunct National Baths of Aix-les-Bains will receive a vibrant and sustainably minded revival in the hands of the Paris-based practice Vincent Callebaut Architectures. Selected as the winner of a competition following the popular vote, the firm’s proposal — dubbed “The Foam of Waves” — will not only restore the ancient thermal baths, but also introduce a sustainable, energy-producing paradigm that follows the carbon-neutral guidelines as recommended by COP 21. The project will adopt a mixed-use program that incorporates residential, commercial, tourist, educational and urban agriculture spaces.

The Foam of Waves focuses on the renovation of the Pellegrini, Revel and Princes buildings while staying respectful of the existing Roman remains. To inject new energy into the space, the architects have created a mixed-use program designed to attract locals, tourists and business investment. The scope includes a tourist office, a Center of Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage, a wellness center, a teaching space for the Peyrefitte School, a wellness-focused shopping center with restaurants, coworking spaces, 185 “green apartments” and parking. An urban educational farm integrating permaculture and aquaponics will be located on the green roof.

“The whole architectural project is the carrier of the new paradigms of our society,” the architects said. “It offers future residents and visitors the opportunity to adopt new lifestyles that respect the environment, health and urban well-being in order to simply live better. It is a resilient architecture, innervated by nature. It is an ode to biodiversity, renewable energies and the circular economy that advocates the construction of post-carbon, post-fossil, post-nuclear and even post-insecticidal cities.”

In addition to an expansive green roof, the buildings will feature updated wave-like facades with balconies large enough to accommodate trees and private garden spaces for residents. The building envelopes will be also be optimized for airtightness, insulation and passive solar conditions. The project aims to produce more energy than it consumes and will include a solar photovoltaic and thermal roof, a mini-biomass plant on-site and a co-generation system with rapeseed oil. Rainwater harvesting systems and gray water recycling will also be implemented.

Mark Lennihan/AP
Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

Since its official unveiling last month, critics have been teeing off on Hudson Yards, the $25 billion office-and-apartment megaproject on Manhattan’s West Side. The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright calls it “bargain-basement building-by-the-yard stuff that would feel more at home in the second-tier city of a developing economy.” In Curbed, Alexandra Lange writes that it suffers from “no contrast. No weirdness, no wildness, nothing off book.” The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman describes it as a “vast neoliberal Zion.”

“New York politics and real estate are notoriously akin to Rashomon,” reads Kimmelman’s review. “Any verdict on an undertaking as costly and complex as Hudson Yards depends on one’s perspective.”

Views abound, sure, but so far, nobody seems to like what they see when they look at Hudson Yards. The project has managed to do something unique: unite all New Yorkers in a vernal equinox of acid contempt. Early reviews offer a litany of contrasts, with the development’s garish geometry and dull placelessness earning rebuke in equal measure. That’s before considering how certain features, particularly Thomas Heatherwick’s oft-derided shawarma-shaped bucket, square with other projects as “bellwethers pointing to exactly where our cities are going awry.”

However, among all the many reasons to feel salty about Hudson Yards, one perspective may deserve a place of privilege: the view from Harlem. Without their knowledge, the residents of a number of public housing developments helped to make Hudson Yards possible. The mega-luxury of this mini-Dubai was financed in part through a program that was supposed to help alleviate urban poverty. Hudson Yards ate Harlem’s lunch.

Specifically, the project raised at least $1.2 billion of its financing through a controversial investor visa program known as EB-5. This program enables immigrants to secure visas in exchange for real estate investments. Foreigners who pump between $500,000 and $1 million into U.S. real estate projects can purchase visas for their families, making it a favorite for wealthy families abroad, namely in China. EB-5 is supposed to be a way to jumpstart investment in remote rural areas, or distressed urban ones.

Hudson Yards, of course, is nobody’s idea of distressed. Located at the source of New York’s High Line, it’s the most expensive real-estate project in U.S. history. It could not possibly qualify as distressed under the terms of the program, or any understanding of the word. In order to buy EB-5 visas at the lower rate ($500,000), immigrant investors must put their money behind projects in areas with high unemployment—a proxy for need.

Manhattan’s West Side may not suffer for lack of opportunity, but, as Kimmelman notes, New York real estate is a realm for Kurosawa-esque visionaries. The Related Companies, the developer behind Hudson Yards, raked in at least $1.2 billion in EB-5 funds for this project. To qualify, Related needed a work-around to bypass the distressed-area requirements—a pass that New York authorities were happy to issue.
Dominique Perrault Architecture
The project fits into the suburb’s plans for a more equitable future, but some are skeptical, as similar ambitions have not panned out at past games.

As the host of the 2024 Summer Olympics, Paris is the latest city to use the world’s largest sporting event as a massive regeneration tool. Just as London did in 2012, the French capital is hoping that it will be able to use the games to effect the economic transformation of a relatively neglected part of the metro area—in this case, the inner suburbs of Northern Paris. This spring, concrete details of the facilities that will help to bring about this hoped-for transformation are starting to trickle into the public domain.

Among the first are plans for the Olympic Village from the studio of architect and urban planner Dominique Perrault (known, among other projects, for his National Library of France and Berlin Velodrome) due to be erected on a riverside site in the suburb of Saint-Denis. The plan is especially significant because, like all Olympic Villages, the new quarter will transform into a regular neighborhood after the games, ideally bringing life to an ex-industrial corner of the metropolis. So will the village deliver?

This isn’t necessarily utopian hot air.

Perrault’s plan is for a mainly mid-rise development of apartment blocks grouped around a central complex containing offices, stores, and community facilities. Besides a large parking lot onsite, the streets linking these blocks will be car-free and will provide excellent connections to the city’s public transit system. This network’s great extension in this area is already underway with the construction of the Grand Paris Express, a 200 kilometer, 68-station expansion of the city’s metro system—almost all of it beyond the historic core—that should make Paris’s suburbs far more easily navigable. The Olympic Village will lie close to a new metro station that forms a junction for three of the Grand Paris Express’s new lines, making the area a hub for the whole of northern Greater Paris.

Visually, Perault’s plan looks likeable enough, though apart from its building materials and verdure cropping up fashionably on rooftops, it all looks pretty familiar, even slightly conservative. The charms of the plan, however, are arguably not in its appearance, but in its sustainability goals and attempts to open up a rather neglected stretch of the River Seine. All construction materials will be bio-sourced (which will mean a lot of wood), while the buildings should be either passive or energy plus (producing more energy than they consume). The complex’s many plants will be watered exclusively by stored rain and ground water, while every part of the neighborhood will be accessible to people with limited mobility.
Rubén BCN in CAT, taken from commons.wikimedia.org
The popularity of organized sports continues to increase, and digital media have dramatically boosted the immense innate appeal of athletic games. The money involved is huge. It may well exceed € 1 trillion, over half of which is linked to association soccer and American football. At the emotional heart of every match, and at the economic center of the entire sporting industry, is the physical space where the games are played. And because sports stadiums are such a huge investment, cities and owners have been dramatically rethinking their use and design.

What is a stadium?
A stadium is a partially enclosed place in which outdoor sports are played. Arenas, on the other hand, are normally places in which traditionally indoor sports are played. Domed stadiums blur that line, as these may be fully covered like an arena but still have as their main purpose the playing of traditionally outdoor sports. Some domed stadiums now feature a retractable roof, like the impressive Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Apart from that, the question of what a stadium is lies at the heart of both new stadium construction and the refurbishing of older structures.

Emphasizing the customer experience
At the core of the new thinking is the customer experience. For instance, better seating for match spectators and massive video screens make the action on the field accessible to every corner of the stadium. Meanwhile, clever apps let visitors download tickets and find their seat or the nearest restroom. New stadiums are huge and good navigation is important.

But fans these days are not only there to watch. They also want to participate in the experience. In the digital age, people do that with handheld devices, supported by things like new high-speed Wi-Fi for improved internet access. And new high-speed, in-seat wireless charging keeps everyone powered up throughout the match.

Increasingly, robust cellular connectivity for the high-density user environment is provided by 4G LTE. 5G is the next step and has been tested at major stadium events. Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium plans to become the first European football stadium with a permanent, dedicated 5G network.

Going beyond the game
Beyond the digital upgrades, stadiums are increasingly offering a stream of services and amenities that encourage visitors to come often, come early, and stay late, with pleasant all-day opportunities for recreation and pleasure.

A greater variety of ‘wining and dining’ possibilities are part of that. That might mean upscale gourmet dining, or simply an improvement on an old favorite. The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London can dispense 10,000 pints of beer per minute, using a special method that fills cups from the bottom up!

Additional attractions are also being built into stadium structures. For instance, the Allianz Arena in Munich houses a popular family museum dedicated to the legacy of the local team. The goal is to make stadiums an attractive destination not only on game day but all week long. In Munich, quality of life has always been important!

Using the best of architectural design
With the visitor in mind, stadium architects are also emphasizing interior design. One objective is better spectator viewing – interior obstructions have virtually disappeared just as big multi-screens have proliferated. The AT&T Stadium near Dallas boasts the world’s largest column-free room.

With 50,000-100,000 people inside, safety and security are also getting better by design. This is particularly important at major global sporting events, such as the international soccer championship at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Doha or the rugby games at Twickenham Stadium in London.

Sustainability is becoming more important, as well. Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is North America’s first LEED-Platinum-certified sports stadium, incorporating a rainwater collection system, solar panels, green spaces, and good links to public transportation.

Integrating the stadium into urban planning
Stadium construction and renovation are also becoming better integrated into the bigger picture of urban development. Architects are using the outward appearance of stadiums to blend in, enhance, and connect with the surrounding neighborhood and the rest of the city.

Architects and urban planners are also specifically designing
Brett Beyer
Aaron Betsky visits the Shed, designed with the Rockwell Group serving as collaborating architect and now under construction at New York City’s Hudson Yards, and finds one of the best architectural “moves” he’s seen in a while.

It is always dangerous to write about a building under construction, but then again, seeing a structure far enough along that all the spaces are defined and the structure’s place in the whole experience is clear, without finding yourself distracted by the content, can give you a sense of the architects’ intention. Of course, by that very toke you are then defining the structure as a monument that has a life and a meaning beyond its function. Though that is an issue for a house or even an office building (and leads to architects desperately trying to photograph their buildings before the owners move in and “mess things up”), for a structure such as the Shed, New York City’s latest cultural palace, the perspective also seems appropriate.

The Shed represents one of the biggest and most extreme examples of a “move”—as in the first architecture lesson I ever learned: “get in, make your move, get out fast”—that I have seen in recent years. It is intended to be the ultimate multipurpose building with over 90,000 square feet of open-span exhibition, performance, and event spaces that can expand by another 17,000 square feet when the shed of its name (which is officially called the McCourt) wheels out over an adjacent plaza. When I first watched as its designers, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (with New York–based collaborating architect Rockwell Group), presented the idea in their office, I filed it away in the “utopian designs, never realized” folder in my mind. Then Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, AIA, lectured at the School of Architecture at Taliesin and showed the giant wheels, each as big as a truck, being forged at an Italian factory, and I realized that the Shed was becoming a reality. Now, it is just about built, with the wheels ready to ride on their tracks by the time of the opening on April 5.

The “move” in this case is a literal one: The cowl of inflated ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) panels nests on top of a four-story stack of exhibition, performance, and event floors, the first three of which sport a 12,500-square-foot clear-span space. When Kanye West or the Bolshoi come to town, or when New York Fashion Week unfolds (which the Shed thinks will be their real moneymaker), the cowl takes a 5-minute journey along the tracks and covers the adjacent place, creating a fully enclosed, lit and conditioned, not to mention grand, space with a flexible floor plate and a 110-foot ceiling height.

The shed structure is now sitting over the plaza, while workers finish the lighting and the floors, not to mention all the other details that will make it work. And it is spectacular. The combination of the lacey steel structure and the translucent panels summon the image of a Gothic cathedral that has become abstracted and stretched into a thin membrane. They leave not a nave, but a modernist cube of a giant scale to house the worshipers of whatever modern culture the organizers choose to throw at the New York scene. The diagonal panes and struts, not to mention those supersized wheels, have a kinetic beauty even when they are fully stationary.

That is really all there is to the Shed. The main entrance, on a lower floor underneath the High Line (which DS+R also co-designed), is a serviceable space whose one trick is a skylight that gives you a view of that reused train track’s bottom. The escalators that take you up into the spaces above are designed as cleanly and with as much reserve as the architects could muster. My only fear is of a repeat of DS+R’s experience at the Broad museum in Los Angeles, where dreadfully proportioned and positioned walls leached all the grandeur out of the top-floor gallery—a gallery that was meant to be the institution’s big payoff.

I also wish that DS+R had managed to find a way to stage the entrances and the unfolding of the spaces with a few more transitions, but I understand the lot was tight and the opportunities
Liens and legal actions accumulate amid signs of developer financial trouble

The three-tower Oceanwide Plaza project in Los Angeles suffered from a series of serious design issues and delays in the two years leading up to January, when work stopped, according to a lawsuit by a major subcontractor.

The concrete construction unit of San Francisco-based Webcor Builders is believed to be the biggest concrete subcontractor used on the project. It has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming the company is owed more than $62.3 million for its work by prime contractor Lend Lease Construction, Inc. and a pair of local project entities formed by Oceanwide Holdings Co., a publicly-traded Chinese company.

Oceanwide is also developing another large project in San Francisco.

Work on the Los Angeles project, opposite the Staples Center, stopped in January and shows no sign of resuming soon.

At attorney for Webcor declined comment.

In addition to tens of millions of dollars in back payments, Webcor's lawsuit also seeks to foreclose on a mechanics lien on three-tower hotel, condominium and restaurant project being built in downtown LA by Oceanwide. If successful, the foreclosure on the mechanics lien could force the sale of the property.

A spokesperson for Oceanwide has declined to comment, but the halt by the developer has been attributed to financing difficulties related to the Chinese government’s recent efforts to restrict the flow of capital outside the country.

Lend Lease also declined to comment.“During the course of the Project, Webcor encountered extensive delays to the

performance of its work, labor inefficiencies, and disruption of productivity, for which Webcor was not responsible, and incurred significant additional costs as a result thereof,” states the court complaint filed by the subcontractor.

Webcor contends problems with the project began not long after it inked a $122-million contract in mid-December, 2015.

The lawsuit contends “a late” as well as “deficient” and “incomplete” project design “caused Webcor to expend time and resources to fix work conditions, wait for the resolution of design issues and conflicts, incorporate design changes into its planned activities, perform added and changed work, and work under disruptive conditions.”

The design issues and other problems first came to a head in May 2016 when Lend Lease issued stop-work orders on the project’s three towers in order to allow for design work on the lower levels of the buildings to finish up, attorneys for Webcor contend.

Even after work resumed, Webcor said it struggled to deal with continued design changes, as “Oceanwide would make field modifications or require adjustments to Webcor’s work after it had been installed.”

“The above and other substantial impacts caused not only substantial delays to Webcor’s work, but also caused Webcor to incur significant lost labor productivity, added supervision, and excessive overtime costs,” the lawsuit contends.

Webcor’s lawsuit also alleges irregularities related to the start of construction on the project back in 2015.

In July 2015, months after construction had started, Downtown Investment, an entity through which Oceanwide was building the project, filed a deed in trust against the city-block sized downtown building site to secure financing for the project. The deed, in turn, “purports to secure an original indebtedness of Three Hundred Twenty Five Million Dollars ($325,000,000.00),” the lawsuit states, arguing the timing of the transaction and other details are “suspicious.”
Robert Wright
Woltz speaks with RECORD about designing a “beautiful, hospitable place for the people of New York.”

With projects under way from Tennessee to Tasmania, landscape architect Thomas Woltz, FASLA, and his firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz, work at the intersection of the natural and built environment. One of the practice’s highest-profile commissions of late—New York’s Hudson Yards development, on the far west side of Manhattan—has quite literally elevated the challenge of creating a beautiful, healthy ecosystem in a major urban area: the five-acre plaza and garden sit on a deck atop a functioning rail yard.

Just before the opening of Hudson Yards, RECORD spoke with Woltz by phone as he traveled along the Pacific Coast Highway, from Malibu to Los Angeles, to catch a flight to Houston, where his firm is working on Memorial Park.

With Hudson Yards officially open, what lies ahead for your firm with this project?

The plaza is complete, and the landscape will continue to evolve and grow with the seasons. We will be planting through the spring and summer. Big trees, for instance, can’t be dug and craned in during February and March because of the freezing temperatures.

Right—I recently tried to plant some window boxes and discovered all my dirt was frozen.

You know what? Hudson Yards is really not unlike your window box. You have soil in a suspended box that can freeze on all sides, unlike the earth, which has natural insulation. Hudson Yards is similarly vulnerable from all sides, because it’s a constructed box of soil, with water, sewage, and high voltage electricity in it as well. Imagine if all of the utilities of your apartment ran through your window box. Also, nothing is on the ground; the trains, just like the street below your window, are moving, and you can’t drop anything out of your window box into that street. I hadn’t thought about this before, but your window box is actually the perfect analogy.

Have you met your own goals for the project?

I feel like we have been able to achieve the vast majority of what we set out to do: to make a beautiful, hospitable place for the people of New York. This is the part of Hudson Yards where you don’t pay an admission fee; you don’t have to buy anything to enjoy the plaza and gardens. I’m very proud of the fact that we are making a civic space for the next century. When you think on the term of a hundred years, you think about public space differently, and that shift in thinking affects how you build. For example, our deep investment in the structures below grade will allow the large trees to get to full maturity.

How does your design anticipate the growth of both plants and buildings in such a rapidly changing neighborhood?

Because the skyscrapers cast so much shade, we looked to the native forest ecology of the Hudson Valley, where there’s a really beautiful, diverse, and resilient plant community that thrives in our climate.

We’ve relied heavily on the ornamental qualities of native plants, and I think people will be rewarded for paying attention with subtle surprises, like tiny, ephemeral lilies in the spring and bright red twig dogwood in the winter. There will be no purple cabbages—no shopping mall plants.
Timothy Schenck for Related-Oxford
The new neighborhood on Manhattan's West Side is one of the most anticipated openings of 2019

For years, New York’s been talking about Hudson Yards, Related’s carefully sculpted neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side. Since the Bloomberg era of New York City, the project has included some of the biggest names in architecture, interiors, and design, to say nothing of the notable soon-to-be tenants of the buildings. While it may have been a long wait, Hudson Yards has announced a grand opening for the neighborhood: Friday, March 15, 2019.

The big day will unveil to the masses the public square and gardens; the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, featuring more than 100 fashion and retail brands; immersive cultural experiences, and a range of dining options. It will also open the neighborhood’s crown jewel, the Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio–designed sculpture temporarily dubbed “Vessel,” with the inaugural walk up the structure's stairs taking place that morning.

Moving trucks are on the horizon for the area, too. 55 Hudson Yards and 30 Hudson Yards, two large-scale residential towers in the neighborhood, will be moved into in phases over the coming months. Residents will start moving into 15 Hudson Yards soon as well. With over 60 percent of 15 Hudson Yards already sold, and an impressive first look at the property, the buildings to come are highly anticipated.

While Related has been managing the construction of Hudson Yards as developer, other aspects of the neighborhood, not affiliated directly with Related, are also debuting soon. The Shed, the upcoming center for arts and culture, based within the newly dubbed Bloomberg Building, will be a home for theater performances, concerts, art galleries, and more at Hudson Yards, and is set to open on April 5, 2019.

After all the mounting news and excitement about Hudson Yards finally comes to fruition, this will be the first time New Yorkers can come spend time in the area the way they would any other neighborhood and find that new favorite coffee shop, boutique, and best view of the river.
Nearly 300 shipping containers may soon be given a new lease on life as a massive pop-up shopping center in downtown Warsaw, Poland. Designed by local architecture practice Szcz and commissioned by investor Nowa Epoka Handlu, the cargotecture proposal would transform a 2.6-acre site into one of the world’s largest shipping container retail complexes. Named Implant, the three-story modular building would house approximately 80 tenants and host mixed programming from retail and restaurants to social and cultural space.

Proposed for an empty lot adjacent to Warsaw’s Żelazna Street and Chmielna Street, Implant aims to revitalize a once-thriving area that was gutted during World War II and has since struggled to return to its former brilliance. In addition to urban revitalization, the project will inject much-needed greenery into the area with open courtyards and vertical green walls.

Modeled after existing shipping container pop-up malls such as London’s BoxPark and Bangkok’s ArtBox, Implant will include a usable floor area of 5,318 square meters and will be split in three main zones: food and beverage, retail, and social and cultural event space. A total of 273 shipping containers will be used: 221 40-foot-long containers and 52 20-foot-long containers. The bars and restaurants will be located on the ground floor of the three-story building while studios, shops and other services will be placed on the upper floors.