A new mixed use development that will transform a 26 acre rail yards site on Manhattan’s Far West Side officially got underway yesterday with the ground breaking of what will be the project’s south tower. The 47-storey office building designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox will serve as the global headquarters of luxury goods manufacturer, Coach, Inc., which will be the tower’s anchor tenant.
Stephen Ross, Chairman of Related Cos, the developer that will bring Hudson Yards to fruition, called the project 'a city within a city...the new heart of New York’. At the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, Ross likened the project to the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center noting that the city’s history has been defined by moments in which the seemingly unachievable was conceived and brought to fruition. “Today is our moment, our position in history”, said Ross.
The project, which will be one of the most ambitious in New York’s history, encompasses 13 million sq ft of development, including six million sq ft of commercial space. It will be a complicated endeavor with much of the development occurring atop platforms to be built over the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA’s) rail yards, which will remain in active use.
On hand for the momentous occasion were New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Joseph Lhota, the MTA’s executive director, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Gary laBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Robert K. Steel, acting deputy mayor for economic development, Ann Weisbrod, president of the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, and Lew Frankfort, Coach’s chairman and CEO.