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Hudson Commons: Over the top

A project team converts a 1960s industrial structure into a Class A office gem.

December 02, 2019 |
Hudson Commons

All Photos: Karen Fuchs Photography

This 16-month repositioning effort in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood converted a nine-story, 1960s warehouse into an amenity-rich, Class A office tower near one of the city’s hottest districts: Hudson Yards. The project team, led by Cove Property Group, Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Pavarini McGovern, nearly tripled the height of the existing structure, adding 17 stories atop the podium building. This structural feat was accomplished by reinforcing the building’s foundation through several measures:

• A 48-inch-thick spread footing was poured using more than 330 cubic yards of concrete in a single pour—enough to cover an NHL ice rink with a six-inch slab.

• A shearwall, rock anchors, and micropiles were added to the foundation structure.

• More than 200 existing columns were strengthened with concrete “jackets,” using a cylindrical rebar cage and shotcrete.

• Existing cast-in-place floor slabs were tied to the new core as it was constructed up the building, allowing a seamless load transfer through the existing diaphragm to the new core.


Hudson Commons before reconstructionThe original nine-story EmblemHealth building (at left). The Pavarini McGovern-led team added 17 stories to create Hudson Commons, 441 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan.


To bring natural light into the dark industrial structure, the design team added a glass storefront on the ground floor and expanded the existing ribbon windows vertically by 18 inches. The additional vision glass, combined with the 14-foot, four-inch slab-to-slab heights, brought ample light deep into the 50,000-sf floor plates.

The new structure features an all-glass façade with 14-foot floor-to-floor heights. Its side-core configuration creates efficient floor plates and preserves views of the city and the Hudson River to the west. Nearly every level features private terraces or balconies. The top floor combines double-height space with a private landscaped terrace.

Since opening last May, Hudson Commons has attracted several big-name tenants, including Lyft and Peloton, which chose to relocate its corporate headquarters there. Currently, 453,000 sf of space is leased (65% of leasable space) in the LEED Platinum–registered building.

The Reconstruction Awards judges praised the project team for its creative, meticulous structural solutions. The end product, said one judge, is “well done in a simple, restrained expression.”



BUILDING TEAM Pavarini McGovern (submitting firm, GC) Cove Property Group (owner, developer) Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (architect) Gensler (interior architect) WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff (SE) Cosentini Associates (MEP) DETAILS 700,000 sf Total cost Confidential at client’s request Construction time January 2018 to May 2019 Delivery method CM at risk

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