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Related Cos. Takes Step to Further Develop Hudson Yards

Development firm has taken a stake in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events to expand Meyer’s culinary and hospitality offerings to the project.

Related Cos. has taken a stake in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events to expand Meyer’s culinary and hospitality offerings to Related’s massive Hudson Yards project under development on Manhattan’s West Side and to other settings.

This story first appeared in the January 13, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“We look forward to fully integrating their experiential concepts into Hudson Yards and expanding the business through strategic opportunities in sports, entertainment and mixed-use developments both nationally and internationally,” said Stephen M. Ross, chairman and chief executive officer of Related.

Kenneth A. Himmel, president and ceo of Related Urban, Related’s mixed-use division, cited a “tremendous opportunity to grow the brand in select markets in which we operate.”

The partnership is a move by Related to enliven malls with hipper and more unexpected entertainment and dining components. Related is also the developer of the Time Warner Center, which includes the highly productive Shops at Columbus Circle vertical center, though malls around the country are generally suffering from declining traffic.

Meyer’s restaurant operations include the Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, Shake Shack and The Modern. At Hudson Yards, he’s expected to establish dining spaces for tenants, eateries and open-air cafes, as well as program events. Related declined to specify the size of its stake in USE, and did not indicate which of Meyer’s restaurants could end up at Hudson Yards.

Hudson Yards has also signed on Coach Inc., which said last November that it will move its corporate offices to the project. Coach will occupy over 600,000 square feet, or more than a third of the commercial space in a 51-story tower.

Related and the City of New York see the project as potentially a nexus for fashion, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has cited the possibility of moving fashion week from Lincoln Center to Hudson Yards. The master plan for the site, which overlooks the Hudson River, calls for approximately 5,000 residences, 6 million square feet of commercial office space, and a 1 million-square-foot mall. The entire complex with the mall is seen opening in 2016, with the building housing Coach possibly opening in 2015.