Yesterday morning SL Green, Hines, and National Pension Service of Korea held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of One Vanderbilt, a $1.4 billion, 77-story supertall in Midtown East. Transit officials, labor leaders, building tenants, and Mayor de Blasio attended the milestone celebration in the new pedestrian plaza, called One Vanderbilt Avenue, directly below the eastern side of the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed skyscraper, which received a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy on September 11.
The 1,401-foot-tall superstructure is made of more than 26,000 tons of steel and 75,000 cubic yards of concrete. It stands as the tallest office structure in Midtown by architectural height. Construction manager AECOM Tishman managed to build the edifice way ahead of schedule and under budget with a fully union team of more than 3,000 workers over the course of four years.
Below are some quotes from the outdoor ceremony.
“Today we are proud to officially open One Vanderbilt Avenue, adding a new monument to the unrivaled Manhattan skyline, contributing to the revitalization of East Midtown, and proclaiming a bright future for the greatest city in the world,” said Marc Holliday, chairman and CEO of SL Green. “One Vanderbilt is already the best address in Manhattan, headquarters to leading global companies and home to the most incredible space and views in New York City. One Vanderbilt is also a testament to what a public-private partnership can achieve to strengthen New York City, and we are thrilled today to deliver to New Yorkers an extraordinary array of privately funded public improvements in and around Grand Central Terminal.”
“As we rebuild a fairer, better city, we’ll need thoughtful development projects like One Vanderbilt more than ever,” Mayor de Blasio said. “Public-private partnerships like these will help New York City come back stronger and revitalize major business hubs like Midtown East in the process. I’m proud to stand with our partners in the business community today, and I look forward to working with them on other bold and ambitious projects in the future.”
“Now, more than ever, we need to demonstrate to our fellow New Yorkers that we’re still capable of achieving great things in this city,” said Manhattan borough president Gale A. Brewer. “The completion and opening of One Vanderbilt is one of them. Most importantly, for those working, living, and commuting through the Grand Central neighborhood, they will see an immediate impact on their quality of life through the public benefits we were able to secure. From transit upgrades on the subway platforms, direct connections to the regional lines, and a new public plaza outside Grand Central, these are substantial improvements that will benefit this community for years to come. I want to thank SL Green for being a great partner and continuing the ongoing revitalization of East Midtown into one of the world’s leading business districts.”
SL Green’s $220 million package of public open space and transit infrastructure improvements will help ease congestion and overcrowding on subway platforms, improve circulation in and around the terminal, and create new direct pathways to the regional railroads. The following has been constructed: a 4,000-square-foot public transit hall inside One Vanderbilt connecting to the Metro-North Railroad, the shuttle to Times Square, and the future Long Island Rail Road station as part of the upcoming East Side Access project; a 4,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd and 43rd Streets; two new street-level subway entrances and re-opening the Mobil Passageway on the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue; a 37 percent increase in mezzanine circulation space inside the Grand Central subway station; new staircases between the mezzanine and platform levels of the 4, 5, 6, and 7 subway lines and an ADA elevator; and new escalators and elevators, additional turnstiles and gates, and stairs by the shuttle to Times Square. All of this work was done in tandem with the MTA Construction and Development’s 42 Street Connection Project, which aims to further enhance the flow of people between and under the Grand Central Terminal with more efficiency and time-saving measures.
World-renowned chef Daniel Boulud will open the restaurant at One Vanderbilt, named Le Pavillon, in the first quarter of 2021. Le Pavillon will occupy 11,000 square feet with soaring 60-foot ceiling heights on the southeast corner of the second floor. The space will offer patrons views of Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building.
“I am more excited than ever to have the opportunity to bring Le Pavillon at One Vanderbilt to life,” Boulud said. “We are working tirelessly to create a dining oasis in the heart of Midtown that everyone can enjoy. Our menu will include a focus on seafood and vegetables with a strong local and seasonal influence. Le Pavillon combines architecture and nature while celebrating all the charms of New York City.”
All building tenants will have access to a 30,000-square-foot tenant-only amenity floor with large-format meeting spaces, a club-style lounge, curated food offerings, and an outdoor terrace that faces Grand Central. Office floors yield floor-to-ceiling slab heights ranging from 14.5 feet to 24 feet, column-free floor plates, and 360-degree views through floor-to-ceiling windows.
The much-anticipated observatory, called “The Summit,” will feature the second-highest outdoor deck in New York City and is scheduled to open in October 2021.