By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
The first phase of Brookfield Office Properties’ newest and largest development project in New York City kicked off on January 15 with a groundbreaking event in the presence of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city and real estate officials.
Manhattan West is a $4.5 billion development project on a Brookfield-owned vacant site at Ninth Avenue between West 31st and West 33rd Streets. When opened in 2016, the project designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in partnership with SLCE Architects will have 5.4 million square feet of space, including two 2-million-square-foot office towers, a residential high-rise, new shops and restaurants, and 1.5 acres of public space serving as a bridge between Chelsea and the Midtown CBD.
During Phase I, which is scheduled to be completed in 2014, the development team will install a 120,000-square-foot platform made up of a series of 16 bridges over the Hudson rail yards that lead to Penn Station. According to a press release from Brookfield, locally-based Turner Construction—who will install the deck—will utilize post-tension, pre-cast, segmental bridge technology to minimize disturbance to trains running under the platform.
The Manhattan West deck will cost $680 million. Funding for this part of the project has been secured with a five-year, $340 million construction loan from a bank group that includes banks such as HSBC, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. The rest will be covered by private funds coming from Brookfield’s own capital.
More than 600 construction jobs will be generated during the platform installation process. The project will generate $52.7 million in employee compensation and $4.7 million in tax revenue for New York City.
Renderings of Manhattan West master plan and platform via Brookfield Office Properties