Keynote: Related Hudson Yards President Jay Cross At Bisnow’s NYC Office Of The Future
What will the workplace look like in 2030? That will be the question on the docket at Bisnow’s NYC Office of the Future event June 20. Speakers will weigh in on what modern amenities tenants expect and how their expectations are shaping investment and leasing. The event will also feature a fireside chat with Related Hudson Yards President Jay Cross. Register here for the event.
Before Cartier and Dior moved in on the ground floor, before the Shed held a single performance, before the Vessel became an Instagram phenomenon, Hudson Yards was a blank canvas. Now, the city within a city has become the hottest place to work, live and shop in New York. Behind that transformation was Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards.
Cross has a knack for reinventing entire communities from the ground up. He joined Related after leading the New York Jets LLC, where he oversaw the franchise’s move to MetLife Stadium. He has also led arena projects for the Miami Heat and Toronto’s NHL and NBA franchises, as well as mixed-use projects across North America.
At Bisnow’s Office of the Future event on June 20, Cross will take part in a fireside chat about how the offices of Hudson Yards came together. He gave Bisnow a sample of what he’ll be speaking about.
Name: Jay Cross
Title: President, Related Hudson Yards
City: New York City
Years in the industry: 35
Bisnow: How do you describe what you do for Related?
Cross: I’m the air traffic controller for all the parties with a stake in Hudson Yards. I talk with residential developers, office developers, architects, service providers and vendors. I keep my finger on the pulse of the project to make sure everything runs seamlessly, from economics to design to construction.
Bisnow: Can you tell us how you found Hudson Yards’ first commercial tenant?
Cross: Right off the bat, we were trying to get office tenants interested in Hudson Yards. We knew that Coach was in the market for new office space, as they were spread out over multiple buildings in the vicinity. What really persuaded Coach to come to Hudson Yards was the fact that we could give them a custom space. We were able to select an architect and design the building based on their input, and give them a bespoke solution to what they were looking for going forward.
Bisnow: What went into that bespoke solution?
Cross: Coach is an iconic American company, and they had many unique attributes they wanted to bring to Hudson Yards. Their headquarters was located in a former manufacturing building, and they had a leather prototype shop. We worked to bring that shop into our brand-new office tower, along with proper showrooms since they would have buyers coming through. They also have an extensive archive collection that they wanted to display, which now anchors their lobby design.
Coach wanted to create a culture that encouraged collaboration and meeting people. We opted for a central atrium, a space to see and be seen. Coach was not necessarily looking to densify, they were looking to create a loft-like workspace of the future.
Bisnow: How did that first big tenant affect leasing?
Cross: We wanted to maximize the amount of retail development at Hudson Yards, and we felt the office development was key to bring that in. So we decided that if an office tenant wanted to own the space, we were OK with that. We bought back Coach’s building on 34th Street, now 15 Hudson Yards, and sold them 740K SF at 10 Hudson Yards. That deal distinguished us from the rest of the market — we don’t see long-term holding of office assets as a core business. It also led to Warner Media buying their space, then Wells Fargo and KKR and so on.
Coach, very economically, turned around after they moved in and decided to sell their space into the market and take a long-term lease, to monetize the opportunity they took advantage of.
Bisnow: What’s still to come for Hudson Yards?
Cross: We’re working on new concepts for the two upcoming office towers at 35th Street in the Western Yards. In London, we’re building the new Google headquarters, so we’re mindful of these big tech companies and interested in how they approach the workspace. The next building might be not necessarily designed for tech but emphasizing community space and the trends coming from the tech world.
Bisnow: What are you passionate about outside of your work?
Cross: Many people know me as a competitive sailor. I was on the Canadian Olympic sailing team, and I spend a fair bit of time sailing. I’m also a recreational cyclist.