New York’s super mall Hudson Yards opens this weekend — and here are the reviews so far

It’s being called the largest private real-estate development in the history of the United States: Hudson Yards, a collection of shopping centers, restaurants, apartments and office buildings on Manhattan’s west side.

It officially opens March 15, and on the night of March 14, rang in the opening with a party for celebrities, press and other VIPs.

The last time the city had a development this size, it was Rockefeller Center in the 1930s, according to the New York Times.

Already, Hudson Yards is home to corporations including L’Oreal BLK, +0.95%   , BlackRock and VaynerMedia as well as retailers like Dior CDI, +0.79% Fendi MC, +0.95% , Kenzo and Neiman Marcus.

New York has given Hudson Yards some $6 billion in tax breaks and other government assistance, according to the New York Times, which cited data from the New School.

It reportedly cost more than $20 billion to build.

Naturally, the development, which according to its website promises to be “the cultural center of Manhattan’s New West Side” and “a template for the future of cities,” has gotten residents and visitors to New York stirred up.

One of the most outspoken critics: Michael Kimmelman, an architecture critic for the New York Times. He had some choice words about the “Vessel,” a sculptural object that is part of the Hudson Yards development.

“The object — I hesitate to call this a sculpture — is a 150-foot-high, $200 million, latticed, waste-basket-shaped stairway to nowhere, sheathed in a gaudy, copper-cladded steel,” he said.

He also called Hudson Yards “a supersized suburban-style office park and a “relic of dated 2000s thinking.” The focus of the buildings is their exterior “shiny envelopes.”

“Hudson Yards glorifies a kind of surface spectacle — as if the peak ambitions of city life were consuming luxury goods and enjoying a smooth, seductive, mindless materialism,” he wrote.

He wasn’t the only one who showed skepticism.

Hudson Yards is a “billionaire’s fantasy city,” wrote Justin Davidson, for New York Magazine.

When he enters, he feels a mix of “wonder and dejection,” he wrote.

“I can’t help feeling like an alien here, as though I’ve crossed from real New York, with all its jangling mess, into a movie studio’s back-lot version. Everything is too clean, too flat, too art-directed.”

Phillip Picardi, the editor in chief of Out magazine, said he attended the development’s opening night, and he left “thoroughly confused.”

And some on Twitter playfully compared the “Vessel” at Hudson Yards to objects including pinecones and fruit covered in netting.

It will also include a fried-chicken restaurant called “Fuku,” from the owners of well-known Momofuku and related restaurants. Momofuku’s owners are also opening Peach Mart, a to-go restaurant.

Could it be those types of attractions that bring New Yorkers in?

“If New Yorkers take to the Shed and eat at the mall, Hudson Yards may come to seem less like some gated community in Singapore,” Kimmelman wrote for the New York Times.

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