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A boat makes its way up the Hudson River in New York with the buildings of the Hudson Yards development and Manhattan skyline in view
The Hudson Yards development, center, joins the New York City landscape rising above the Hudson River. Photo credit: Courtesy The Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group

Hudson Yards a ‘big bet’ on New York’s future, says Wells Fargo CEO

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan joined celebrations for the opening of retail and public spaces at Hudson Yards, a historic redevelopment effort the company is helping lead on New York’s West Side.

March 15, 2019

Hudson Yards, the nation’s largest private development, officially opened March 15 in New York City, and Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan was there to mark the milestone.

“I think (Hudson Yards) is a big bet on New York,” Sloan said Friday during a live CNBC “Squawk Box” interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin while at the development’s grand opening. “Through the cycles, even though there have been ups and downs, New York real estate has been a good bet for hundreds of years.”

Wells Fargo, which itself was incorporated by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo at the Astor House in New York on March 18, 1852, before opening in San Francisco, is one of the founding partners and preferred bank of Hudson Yards. The multiyear and multi-use project is being built on 28 acres above a rail yard and expected to be completed in 2025. It features more than 18 million square feet of office, retail, recreational, and residential space — more than any other real estate development in U.S. history.

Wells Fargo has 21 other bank branches and more than 3,500 team members working in the city for several of its businesses. Sloan called Hudson Yards the perfect place for the company’s Corporate & Investment Banking business, which will move its headquarters and more than 2,000 team members from midtown Manhattan this summer into nine floors of the 30 Hudson Yards office tower.

To date, Wells Fargo has spent more than $135 million — or more than half of the budget for building out its new space — with minority-, women-, and other diverse-owned businesses in New York City.

Wells Fargo’s lease at 375 Park, home to its Corporate & Investment Banking business in New York, was coming to an end, and the company “decided Hudson Yards would be the most attractive — primarily for our team members,” Sloan told CNBC. “Our team members were really interested in being a part of a new development at this location,” he said, “so we bought a 500,000-square-foot interest in the tower.”

The March 15 events at Hudson Yards celebrated the grand opening of its first phase: a mall, restaurants, and public plaza. Wells Fargo, which has taken a series of steps to build a better bank, also marked the day with a $25,000 investment in the new West Side Fund for Hudson Yards-area nonprofits and a donation to support P.S. 11, a public elementary school in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

The company also donated $15,000 to the Hudson Guild Children’s Center for its Power Up program, which provides work, education, and recreation opportunities for at-risk teens and young adults.

Joining more than 100 other invited dignitaries, Sloan was among the first to walk the 154 flights of stairs of the Vessel — the copper-clad sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick at the center of the Hudson Yards complex of The Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group.

Economic impact

Appleseed, a New York consulting firm that provides economic research to government and other clients, expects Hudson Yards to add nearly $19 billion annually to the city’s gross domestic product.

The firm said the project already has helped modernize an aging pool of office space, more than half of which are in buildings 50 years old or older.

Some 55,000 people are expected to work in Hudson Yards, according to the developers, which includes more than 100 shops and restaurants, a school, 4,000 apartments, and the world’s first 200-room Equinox® luxury hotel.

According to The Related Companies, when Hudson Yards is completed in 2025, more than 125,000 people a day will either visit, work in, or call the neighborhood home.

Contributors: Christopher Frers
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