This Is What New York City Could Look Like In 2033

Architectural renderings allow us to peer into the future of our beloved city without a crystal ball. New York City has some big changes coming, and here are 17 future attractions that will transform the Big Apple as we know it.
1. The New Penn Station

This summer a multibillion dollar plan will finally get underway to brighten up the dank rail station and better accommodate the 600,000 people that pass through it each day. But it’ll be a while before the much-maligned space looks fresh and tidy. Madison Square Garden, which sits on top of the transit hub, renewed its permit to occupy the space earlier this year. But MSG’s previous 50-year permit was renewed for only 10, setting up a dispute between the City Council and MSG’s owners, who are facing mounting pressure to relocate.

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2. The New World Trade Center

The 1,776-foot Freedom Tower is slated for completion in early 2014, but construction on the surrounding skyscrapers, a performing arts center and a transportation hub are ongoing.

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3. Hudson Yards

After more than a decade of controversy — including scrapped Olympic and Jets stadium plans — developers have crafted an ambitious plan to convert 26 acres of rail facilities into the largest private real estate development in city history. Hudson Yards is “a $15 billion 15-structure mini-city on Manhattan’s West Side that will create more office space than exists in Portland, Ore.,” according to the New York Daily News.

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4. 5 Pointz … Luxury Apartments?

Potentially the most legendary street art landmark in the world, Long Island City’s 5 Pointz is set to be torn down in favor of a luxury high-rise. This controversial plan has inflamed the NYC arts community (and anyone with a soul), and a legal battle is ongoing.

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5. + POOL

“Like a giant strainer dropped in the river,” + POOL aspires to filter dirty East River water and create a 285,000 gallon floating swimming pool between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The team raised over $270,000 to build a prototype — a 35′ x 35′ float lab — and aims for the + POOL to open in the summer of 2016, although they admit that permitting and approvals may delay this futuristic project.

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6. MoMA Tower

This project was stalled by the recession, but has recently surged back into development thanks to a $1 billion financing package from Asian investors. Tower Verre, as it’s known, will house 145 luxury condos and provide 36,000 square feet of new gallery space for the Museum of Modern Art. It’s slated for completion in 2018 with an ultimate price tag of $1.3 billion.

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7. The Queensway

Taking a cue from the Westside’s massively successful Highline Park, Queens plans to convert its own stretch of abandoned railway tracks into an elevated park. Currently, two design firms are conducting a feasibility study.

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8. South Bronx Initiative Plan

In 2008, Mayor Bloomberg launched an array of projects in the South Bronx, collectively labeled the South Bronx Initiative Plan. From making the waterfront more accessible to building more affordable housing, the projects are focused on 3rd Avenue, the Bronx Civic Center and the Lower Grand Concourse.

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9. The New Whitney Museum

The Whitney Museum of American Art is relocating from the Upper East Side to the Meatpacking District. The new museum’s construction cost $422 million and is slated for completion in 2015.

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10. Cornell NYC Tech

Cornell University is building a $2 billion mega-campus on Roosevelt Island, which sits just east of midtown Manhattan. The architects predict that the main building will produce as much energy as it consumes, and that the project will be completed by 2037.

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11. The New Westchester Avenue Station

SLO Architecture has proposed renovations to the abandoned Westchester Avenue Station in the South Bronx. Amtrak, whose Northeast Corridor runs by the site, wants to demolish the 100-plus-year-old building, but the designers seek to create a beautified waterfront and an entrance to Concrete Plant Park.

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12. Essex Crossing

In September, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $1.1 billion plan to renovate the Essex Street Market and the surrounding streets in the Lower East Side. The project will include a “virtually unprecedented amount of affordable housing in a development of this scale,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

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13. The new Loew’s Kings Theater

In 1977, Brooklyn’s largest indoor theater closed its doors and fell into a state of disrepair. The mayor’s office and its partners have pumped in $93.9 million to revitalize the Flatbush landmark. The theater is scheduled to open in 2014.

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14. East River Blueway

One part beautification, one part storm protection, the Blueway will revitalize Manhattan’s East River shoreline stretching from the Brooklyn Bridge to East 38th Street. The plan does not yet have a budget or timeline.

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15. New York Wheel

The world’s largest ferris wheel will come to Staten Island in 2016. At 625 feet, the New York Wheel is predicted to draw millions of visitors to the borough.

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16. The LowLine

How do you add green space to an overly congested city like New York? For two ambitious entrepreneurs, the answer was “beneath our feet.” After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the LowLine’s creators are working with the MTA and the city to convert an abandoned, underground trolley station into a state-of-the-art, solar-panel-illuminated, $55 million park. The goal is to open by 2018.

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17. Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue

The corporate takeover of Williamsburg has entered its final phase, with national retailers like Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters and J.Crew all staking out claims in the capital of hipsterdom. The development is set to cost $45 million and will be completed in mid-2014.

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