MIDTOWN EAST, Manhattan (WABC) -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Manhattan Monday to unveil One Vanderbilt -- New York City's newest, 77-story skyline-defining tower.
Mayor Bill de Blasio cut the ribbon on the city's second tallest office building at 1,401 feet.
Among its many advancements, the building will interconnect with Grand Central Terminal to provide access to Metro North, the subway and in the future, LIRR -- as part of the East Side Access project.
The mayor's advisory says the ribbon cutting is "to celebrate that New York City is open and returning to work" -- just days after 163 top business leaders wrote the mayor, urging him to address "public safety, cleanliness and other quality-of-life issues" that would make people more confident to return to work. The mayor's office said Monday's ribbon cutting was planned weeks before receipt of the letter
"Taking its rightful place on New York's iconic skyline, One Vanderbilt will establish a state-of-the-art work environment in New York with unprecedented amenities, including 24-foot tall ceilings, incredible views, and direct access to transit networks in the heart of East Midtown," said Marc Holliday, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SL Green.
Officials say the KPF-designed building, featuring unparalleled amenities and direct access to Grand Central Terminal, is already 60% leased, $100 million under budget and more than three months ahead of construction schedule with an expected opening in August 2020.
"As One Vanderbilt reaches its full height, its slender, crystalline profile assumes a prominent place on the New York skyline," says James von Klemperer, President and Design Principal at KPF. "The same angled geometries translate to the base of the tower, gesturing with generosity the great landmark of Grand Central Terminal. KPF is proud to have contributed to the tower's design, which arose from the collaborative efforts of our studio, SL Green, Hines, and the NYC Department of City Planning."
When completed, One Vanderbilt will feature over twenty-six thousand tons of US made and fabricated steel and seventy-four thousand cubic yards of concrete. At its peak activity levels, over 800 workers are onsite daily as they work to complete the project. In addition, the project has engaged close to fifty subcontractors.
Anchoring the modernization of East Midtown, One Vanderbilt will provide tenants with a combination of amenities unrivaled in New York City, including a 30,000-square-foot tenant-only amenity floor with large format meeting spaces, club-style lounge, curated food offerings and extraordinary outdoor terrace. The building will also include an 11,000-square-foot high-design restaurant from world-renown chef Daniel Boulud. The office floors will feature floor-to-ceiling slab heights ranging from 14.5 feet to 24 feet, column-free floor plates, stunning 360-degree views through floor-to-ceiling windows and best-in-class infrastructure.
SL Green's unprecedented $220 million private investment to improve Grand Central's public transit infrastructure has already materialized with new, widened staircases between the mezzanine and platform levels of the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines. Other planned transit investments include a transit hall linking Grand Central Terminal to the Long Island Rail Road station as part of the East Side Access project, enhanced connections to Metro-North and the shuttle to Times Square, and two new street-level subway entrances. The tower will also contain a 4,000-square-foot public transit hall for commuters in the building's northeast corner and an adjacent 14,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd and 43rd Streets.
Encompassing an entire city block directly west of Grand Central Terminal, One Vanderbilt epitomizes SL Green's commitment to sustainable development, featuring cutting-edge technologies including 1.2-MW cogeneration and 90,000-gallon rainwater collection systems. The tower is on track to receive several environmental distinctions, including the highest levels of LEED and WELL certifications.
One Vanderbilt comprises four interlocking and tapering planes that spiral toward the sky. At the tower's base, a series of angled cuts on the south side of the block creates a visual procession to Grand Central Terminal revealing the Vanderbilt corner of the Terminal's magnificent cornice - a view that has been obstructed for nearly a century. The tower's terracotta facade, which incorporates the same distinct ceiling tiles found throughout Grand Central Terminal, provides the soaring structure a natural, luminous texture. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized One Vanderbilt and its architecture firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Associates, with the prestigious 2018 AIA NY Merit Award in Urban Design.
A robust roster of top-tier financial, banking and legal firms that have already committed to One Vanderbilt include The Carlyle Group, a leading private equity firm; TD Securities and TD Bank, a leading banking and investment firm that provides a wide range of capital markets products and services; prestigious law firms, McDermott, Will & Emery and Greenberg Traurig; private equity firms KPS Capital Partners and Sentinel Capital Partners; global German financial firms DZ and DVB Banks; publicly traded real estate investment trust MFA Financial Inc.; and SL Green Realty Corp. The building is currently 60 percent leased.