Ross stands on an unfinished section of the High Line park in Manhattan. The 17 buildings in the Hudson Yards project will be built on massive concrete platforms on top of the rail yards behind him.
Stephen Ross is pitching the dream, with an extra dollop of hyperbole. The founder and chairman of Related Cos. is standing on a dilapidated branch of an ancient elevated railway, known as the High Line, that runs through the Chelsea neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan near the Hudson River. Below him is a bleak industrial landscape -- a vast rail-yard complex packed with the trains that feed Pennsylvania Station, surrounded by a patchwork of parking lots and auto-repair shops. "This is not how New York should look!" exclaims Ross over the drone of the locomotives on a sunny morning. "We will change that. You're looking at something that will be far greater than Rockefeller Center -- that will be the new heart of New York City."