Construction Update: Manhattan West

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The West Side has several mega-projects in the works, and Brookfield’s Manhattan West will be the second largest. Like the majority of Related’s Hudson Yards, Manhattan West will also be built over a platform – and construction of the gargantuan structure is about to begin. The above photos, submitted by YIMBY reader Michael, depict the ‘launcher’ – a behemoth of a machine that will lift and arrange 56-ton concrete blocks into rows, that will then form the site’s decking. Brookfield released a Youtube video which offers a complete explanation of the process, as well as an illustration of the eventual towers.

Once the platform is complete – and that should occur sometime in 2015 – work can begin on the actual buildings, which will have foundations anchored in the bedrock below. The complex is expected to contain three skyscrapers, one of which will be residential; the defining feature will be the office towers, which may or may not break the 1,000-foot mark. A 1.5 acre plaza will also be built, opening the heart of the mega-project to pedestrian access, and enhancing its urban appeal.

Initial plans for Manhattan West showed the office behemoths as 1,200′ and 900′ siblings, though the most recent renderings depict twins that rise approximately 950 feet. Given the evolution of Related’s Hudson Yards, which went through several revisions before the current designs were ultimately chosen, Brookfield’s towers could still see dramatic changes in terms of appearance. Indeed, if the company hopes to compete with Related, it would be prudent to build structures that become corporate icons, rather than boxes that could pass for massing models.

Completion of the entire complex is expected by the 2020s. Related enjoys an advantage over Brookfield, as the Hudson Yards towers will be built at-cost, and better located, given their adjacency to the new 7-line subway stop. The new World Trade Center is also a rival. It’s clear that Manhattan West will eventually rise, but the platform could sit vacant for several years before construction ultimately begins. Regardless of the tentative timeline, Manhattan West is an important piece of the Far West Side’s transformation into a new business district, and once finished, will be a beneficial addition to the neighborhood.

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