Hudson Yards Is Hot (Because of Penn Station)

Hudson Yards' Proximity to Penn Station Yields Big Tech Money

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Apple will move into the 11th and 14th floors of 11 Penn Plaza, the midtown art deco building across the street from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station that houses AMC Networks. During the fall Apple had been vying for the 740,000 square feet of office space at Vornado’s renovation Farley Building. That building will be the new Penn Station. Apple, however, lost the alleged bidding war to Facebook. Facebook also agreed to take on 1.5 million square feet over 30 floors in Hudson Yards. Hudson Yards is just two blocks west of the renovated Farley Post Office Building.

WarnerMedia, who plans to launch the streaming juggernaut, HBO Max in May, occupies a large footprint at Hudson Yards. Enterprise software company, SAP is also a tenant at Hudson Yards. Amazon abandoned Long Island City and signed  355,000 square feet lease at 410 Tenth Avenue and 33rd. Amazon’s office lies between the Farley Building/Penn Station and Hudson Yards. The Penn Station that was once “dirty,” “broken,” and “third-world” is now ‘disrupted‘. We’re thinking about calling it: Silicon Station.

Why Do Tech Companies See Gold At Penn Station?

Hudson Yards is the most extensive private real estate development in the United States by area. With 20+ Million square feet of office space, developers created a city within a city . There are state-of-the-art office space, residential units, restaurants, retail spaces, a high-end hotel, a luxury gym and club, and green space. Hudson Yards developers listened to trends of what younger people want in their office spaces. They want open offices with lots of light to empower collaboration. They embrace updated technology that makes their work-life more efficient. Lastly, they want to be provided the appropriate amount of work-life balance. On other words they want to believe their employer values and respects their health and wellness. However, like generations before them, “location, location, location” is the most important. A new code of paint or new flat screens is not enough for the future worker.

According to a 2017 survey by staffing firm Robert Half, the average round-trip commute for New York City jobs comes to 57.92 minutes. That is the fourth-longest, behind Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Chicago. The average New Yorker spends 9 minutes longer commuting than the average American. According to Metro, physically speaking, a long commute correlates with increased stress, psychosomatic disorders, and sleep deprivation. Socially speaking, commuting takes up time that could be spent with your family, focusing on your health and wellness, getting a few more minutes of sleep, or watching Netflix. Long commutes lead to un-productivity. 23% of American workers have left a job due to a bad commute. 60% of American workers feel that their employers do not do enough to help with their commute.

Technology companies like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, and New York’s own Bloomberg LP have always been “disrupters” when it comes to listening to the trends of future work and creating a space that reflects what employees need to be productive. The reason being is they want to attract young talent and retain them as they grow. What a single 20 year old seeks in an office may be differ from what a married 50-year old with kids seeks. The closer you are to public transportation, especially a massive train station like Penn Station, the easier a commute for all your employees. Employees can grow with companies. The shorter the commute the less stress employees will. Ergo, the closer your office is to a transportation hub the more productive your company will be.

It’s not just the bells and whistles; it’s the commute, Stupid.

Penn Station, especially a newly renovated state-of-the-art version, is gold for companies looking to grow and promote employees’ health and productivity. One thousand three hundred arrivals and departures per day serve Penn Station. There are more than 600,000 commuter rails and Amtrak passengers who use the station on an average weekday. It is the busiest passenger transportation facility in North America. Additionally, employees near Hudson Yards are just two subway stops on the 7 train from Grand Central Station,  the second busiest passenger transportation facility. If you ride the 7 train a little bit longer you’ll arrive at the 3rd busiest train station, Jamaica Station.

Employees working in Hudson Yards and the adjacent Penn Plaza neighborhood have quick and easy access to the MTA. They also have access to the NJ Path Train, and all trains heading out of New York City. Employers know that the proximity to a train station in New York City can drastically change an employee’s commute and improve their work output, and that is the reason why Penn Station, or Silicon Station, is so hot right now.