NYC officials gathered yesterday for the groundbreaking of One Vanderbilt, a LEED-seeking, 1,401-foot-tall commercial tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates that will hold court next to Grand Central Terminal. Thanks to an unprecedented $220 million in public infrastructure investment, the building will have an expansive pedestrian plaza that will link to the station. As part of the massive project, Grand Central’s Lexington Line will also see various upgrades aimed at improving the overcrowding and flow issues that thousands of daily riders currently face.
Designed to be the tallest building in Midtown and second highest in NYC, One Vanderbilt is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The building, which is located a block west of the E. 42nd Street station, will have 1.7 million square feet of office space across 58 floors. At the base of the building will be a transit hall and waiting room that leads out to an expansive 14,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue. The project also calls for enhanced access points to the Grand Central complex for the subway system, Metro-North and future Long Island Rail Road East Side Access.
With 154,000 riders each day, Grand Central’s Lexington Line stop is the second busiest in the city. In order to improve traffic flow, more staircases will be added to the 4-5-6 subway platforms. The plan also calls for a renovated subway mezzanine and new exits that lead directly to street level. The line’s capacity will also be improved by 1,100 more riders each hour in each direction by adding one extra train per hour.
The ambitious project is a new development model for the city, one that demands more from city developers as well as acquiring private investment in order to offer better transportation options as Midtown East continues to grow.
“The new office building, transit upgrades at Grand Central and expanded pedestrian space are what I call smart growth. We demanded and secured private investments into important City infrastructure that put hundreds of thousands of straphangers first. This strategy helps to keep our city competitive while improving the lives of New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at the ceremony.