One of New York City’s most anticipated new projects, One Vanderbilt had its official groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning at its full block site right next to Grand Central Terminal. For developer SL Green, this marks a 15-year process from when they actually envisioned the project, to getting all the requisite city approvals and zoning changes, and finally clearing the site of commercial buildings to make way for the office supertall.
"It will become the premier building in New York City bar none," Marc Holliday, the CEO of SL Green said at the groundbreaking ceremony. "One Vanderbilt will be a high-performing addition to the Manhattan skyline serving as a blueprint for 21st century commercial development."
Mayor Bill de Blasio was in attendance at the ceremony—the 1,401-foot tower was finally approved under his administration last summer. The massive development will also bring $220 million in transit improvements to the area, and under the agreement the city reached with the developers, SL Green will be required to complete the transit improvements first before renting out the more highly prized upper floors of the supertall.
"We demanded and secured private investments into important City infrastructure that put hundreds of thousands of straphangers first," de Blasio said in a statement. "This strategy helps to keep our city competitive while improving the lives of New Yorkers."
So what are the transit improvements exactly? SL Green will refurbish the subway mezzanine level at GCT that will provide more direct connections between that level and the street level. Most of the transit funds will be used to make improvements on the 4/5/6 lines. There will be new exits on both ends of the platform.
There will be direct connection from One Vanderbilt to the subway, Metro North and the future LIRR. In addition, the developers are building a 4,000-square foot public transit hall on the ground floor of One Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets will be converted into a 14,000-square-foot pedestrian only plaza. All of these improvements will in turn ease congestion, city officials say, and will allow for one additional train per hour on each side on the 4/5/6 and create space for 1,100 more passengers in each direction as well.
At Tuesday’s ceremony, SL Green also unveiled a ton of new interior renderings for the tower which will offer 1.7 million square feet of Class A office space that will be spread out over 58 floors. Why the low floor count? The ceiling heights here will range from 14.6-to-20-feet. Tenants at the building will have access to a 30,000-square-foot amenity floor that will come with a "world-class dining" facility.
So far, TD Bank has signed on as the anchor tenant and they’ve agreed to lease 200,000 square feet at the building, which will include a new flagship store at the corner of 42nd Street and Madison Avenue.
Excavation and foundation work on the building will be complete by the third quarter of 2017, which is when vertical construction will get underway. The transit upgrades and the project overall is expected to be complete by 2020. Now check out all the new interior renderings below, and scroll down further to look at the virtual tour SL Green has created of the overall experience inside the building.