New model in Midtown East secures new investment in public transit as city grows
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined SL Green and local officials today to break ground on a new office building and $220 million in transit improvements to Grand Central Terminal. The upgrades are part of a new development model, secured by the de Blasio Administration, Council Member Dan Garodnick and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. The approach demands more of developers, securing private investment in better commutes and reducing congestion as Midtown East grows.
“The new office building, transit upgrades at Grand Central and expanded pedestrian space are what I call smart growth. We demanded and secured private investments into important City infrastructure that put hundreds of thousands of straphangers first. This strategy helps to keep our city competitive while improving the lives of New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Grand Central’s Lexington Line stop is the second busiest in the city, with 154,000 riders each day. With the unprecedented $220 million public infrastructure investment, One Vanderbilt will transform the commuting experience and reduce overcrowding. Specifically, this package of infrastructure upgrades will add more staircases to ease crowding on the 4-5-6 subway platforms, a renovated subway mezzanine and new exits directly to street level. When completed in 2020, the upgrades will increase the Lexington Avenue line’s capacity by an extra train per hour in each direction – or 2,200 riders.
One Vanderbilt, the 1,401-foot-tall commercial office building rising a block west of the E. 42nd Street station, will include a new transit hall and waiting room in the base of the building, a new 14,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue, and enhanced access into and out of the Grand Central complex for riders of the city subway system, Metro-North and future Long Island Rail Road East Side Access.
The City’s proposed 78-block Greater East Midtown rezoning plan, which encompasses the area surrounding Grand Central Terminal, will enter into public review by the end of the year. Building on a vision process led by Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member Garodnick, the proposal couples strategies for promoting office development with specific transit and public realm improvements as well as support for landmarks that distinguish this iconic district. Like the proposed rezoning, the construction and infrastructure improvements announced today will play a leading role in keeping New York growing and competitive.
SL Green will make improvements to Grand Central Terminal, create a block-long public plaza, and also build a public waiting area for commuters on the ground floor of the new building. The access upgrades include:
- Refurbish Grand Central’s crumbling subway mezzanine.
- More connections from mezzanine directly to streets (reducing crowding at existing exits).
- Approximately 2/3 of the $220 million in public infrastructure funding will go to enhancing connections and circulation spaces along the Lexington Avenue 4/5/6 subway line.
o New exits at ends of both 4-5-6 platforms.
o More room on 4-5-6 platforms, by narrowing obstructions.
o Narrowed staircases.
o Narrowed columns.
- Reduced overcrowding will allow for one additional train per hour in each direction – making room for 1,100 more riders each hour in each direction.
- Direct connections from the new tower to subway, MetroNorth and future LIRR.
- A 4,000-square-foot public transit hall on the ground floor of One Vanderbilt.
- Vanderbilt between 42nd and 43rd will become a pedestrian plaza in the heart of Midtown.
- The upper floors of the tower cannot be occupied until transit work is complete.
The project means important and permanent boosts to private and union jobs, and tax revenue for the City. It represents 5,200 construction jobs. Once complete, the tower will be home to 8,000 workers, 190 of them with permanent union jobs. TD Bank, the anchor commercial tenant, will also have retail space in the building.
Marking the beginning of construction, the mayor today joined Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Dan Garodnick, SL Green Chief Executive Officer Marc Holliday, and Gregg Gerken, Head of Commercial Real Estate at TD Bank, among others at an on-site groundbreaking ceremony.
Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Associates, One Vanderbilt will encompass an entire city block, bounded by Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues to the west and east, and East 43rd and East 42nd Streets to the north and south. Standing 1,401 feet tall, the building’s tapered form pays tribute to New York’s iconic skyscrapers, while its sharp lines and bold angles will punctuate Manhattan’s skyline with a 21st century articulation. At its base along 42nd Street, the building will set back at an angle to permanently reveal Grand Central’s majestic Vanderbilt cornice – a view which has been obstructed for nearly a century.
Expected to achieve the highest possible LEED certification, the tower will offer 1.7 million square feet of Class A office space across 58 floors, featuring column-free floors and views through floor-to-ceiling windows. One Vanderbilt will also offer tenants floor to ceiling slab heights ranging from 14’6” to 20’, a 30,000 square foot tenant-only amenity floor and world-class dining.