Brookfield Office Properties Inc. has begun construction of the platform for the Manhattan West development site on Ninth Avenue between West 31st and West 33rd Streets and Dyer Avenue, in what is currently an underutilized rail yard. Construction is expected to be completed in 2014, positioning the project to receive tenants in 2016.
“With today’s groundbreaking, we’re taking a major step forward in the transformation and rebirth of the Far West Side of Manhattan,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The state-of-the-art Manhattan West development will include two new office towers, a residential tower, new shops and restaurants, and an acre and a half of new outdoor space — making it a vital piece of the mixed-use community we’ve envisioned for the Hudson Yards area, and which is now starting to take shape.”
Financing for the platform project has been secured with a five-year, $340 million construction loan from a bank group that includes HSBC Bank, The Bank of New York Mellon, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, U.S. Bank, The Bank of Nova Scotia, and Wells Fargo Bank. The land and platform construction represent a projected initial investment of $680 million, of which Brookfield will invest approximately $340 million of its own capital with no public subsidies. The total Manhattan West project cost is estimated at $4.5 billion.
The platform, a series of 16 bridges, completes the surface upon which the entirety of the 5-million-square-foot development will rise, envisioned as two two-million-square-foot Class A office towers, a residential tower, a 1.5 acre open public space, and retail throughout. The cores of the towers will be constructed on bedrock to the north and south of the platform. The total site comprises five acres, of which the platform will occupy 60 per cent.
The Manhattan West deck is being constructed utilizing post-tension pre-cast segmental bridge technology which minimizes disturbance to train operations below. Turner Construction, a New York-based firm, is managing the platform installation. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is the master plan architect, working in partnership with SLCE Architects on the residential portion.
Agreements were completed in September 2012 with Amtrak and the MTA/Long Island Rail Road, who hold easements through the Brookfield-owned land, as well as with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Excavation and rock drilling have been underway for the past three months.