Grand opening: New York City's $25 billion Hudson Yards opens to public

WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City's $25 billion Hudson Yards development is open to the public, offering an experience of culture, art, and commerce all in one place.

For years, there wasn't much of a reason to visit this far west section of Midtown,. There were only train yards there, but now, it's a brand new city.

This new neighborhood between Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea opened Friday, starting with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

WATCH Friday's complete opening ceremony

Once completed, the development is expected to offer an economic jolt to Midtown with 40,000 new workers occupying eight million square feet of office space.

There's a recently-opened 7 train station, a new park, two residential buildings, 25 restaurants, and 100 new stores, anchored by Neiman Marcus.

And the artistic centerpiece of it all is a massive sculpture called "The Vessel" that features 154 flights of stairs totaling about a mile in length. It also offers stunning views of the city.

"We tried to think about how New Yorkers use Manhattan and give them something a little better than what they're used to," Hudson Yards president Jay Cross said.

RELATED: Take a walking tour of the new Hudson Yards

CNN's Anderson Cooper hosted the inaugural ceremony, which included Sen. Chuck Schumer and other New York elected officials. CNN will be a tenant at Hudson Yards, along with its parent company WarnerMedia.

"We have brought the leading brands in each category all under one roof," director of retail Etsy Ottensoser said. "We've created a shopping destination like no other."

Also at the opening was developer Stephen Ross, whose company, Related, partnered with Oxford Properties Group to build Hudson Yards.

Half of the 28-acre mini-city by the Hudson River is completed. The rest will be done by 2025.

When fully complete, the 28-acre site will include 16 towers of homes and offices, a hotel, a school, the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, and a performing arts center.

It is free to the public, but you do need a ticket.

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