Hudson Square Neighborhood Snags $4.5M State Grant

The burgeoning Lower Manhattan community and commercial hub, where Walt Disney’s new 19-story New York headquarters are expected to open later this year, has been selected as this year’s “NY Forward” awardee in NYC.

| 12 Feb 2024 | 09:49

The downtown Hudson Square neighborhood will receive a $4.5 million state grant as part of the “NY Forward” program, after being selected as this year’s awardee for the NYC region.

The $4.5 million will only be divvied up after a “Strategic Investment Plan” is created. A body known as a Local Planning Committee, made up of members involved in both government and the private sector, will determine the contours of the plan.

The once-humble Hudson Square–which is situated north of Greenwich Village and south of Tribeca–has emerged as a media and tech center in recent years. The new grant is meant to help foster more residential development in the area, as well as foster connections to nearby neighborhoods such as SoHo and the West Village. The 33-square block neighborhood is currently dominated by 12 million sq. ft. of office space, due in no small part to the neighborhood’s long history as a manufacturing hub and printing district.

Some of this office space currently belongs to corporate juggernauts. For example, Walt Disney and ABC Studios are in the process of moving their New York home base into a 19-story, 1.2 million sq. ft. building at 4 Hudson Sq. That building, which is designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, has been under construction for the past several years. The neighborhood already houses Google, WCBS 880-AM, WNYC, the magazine New York, and Viacom. On the clothing front, it hosts the razor company Harry’s and the eyewear giant Warby Parker.

NY Forward, which was launched by Governor Kathy Hochul in 2022, describes itself as a “program to invigorate and enliven downtowns in New York’s smaller and rural communities—the type of downtowns found in villages, hamlets and other small, neighborhood-scale municipal centers.” It is currently in its second round, and has a total pot of $100 million to distribute. Grant awardees are recommended by New York State’s Regional Economic Development Councils.

State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, who counts Hudson Square as part of her 66th District, claimed that “Hudson Square has been undergoing a revitalization for some time, and this award will help to boost those efforts to create a dynamic, livable community, where small businesses can thrive.”

The Garment District was the winner of the inaugural round of NY Forward grants in 2023, and similarly received $4.5 million.

“This round of NY Forward applicants all submitted strong, competitive proposals and the fact that the Hudson Square neighborhood received this award speaks not only to the quality of the proposal but the foreseen potential that State capital investment can bring to this important area for our borough and our city,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said.

Samara Karasyk, the CEO of the Hudson Square Business Improvement District, said that she was “immensely grateful to Governor Hochul and the Empire State Development Corporation for recognizing Hudson Square Business Improvement District’s ongoing efforts to transform our neighborhood into a pedestrian-friendly and welcoming community with lush streetscapes and vibrant public spaces.”