Tower-transit connection

    Infrastructure upgrades will create a new transit hall in the base of One Vanderbilt, a new 14,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue, and enhanced access into and out of the Grand Central complex. Image: SL Green Realty Corp.

    SL Green Realty Corp. broke ground on One Vanderbilt Avenue, a state-of-art office skyscraper that will anchor the modernization of the East Midtown business district and stand as the second tallest tower in New York City. Rising adjacent to Grand Central Terminal, One Vanderbilt will include direct connections to its network of mass transit, improved by $220 million in upgrades that SL Green is implementing as part of the project.

    Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Associates, One Vanderbilt will encompass an entire city block, bounded by Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues to the west and east, and East 43rd and East 42nd Streets to the north and south. Standing 1,401 feet tall, the building’s tapered form will pay tribute to New York’s iconic skyscrapers, while its sharp lines and bold angles will punctuate Manhattan’s skyline with an elegant, 21st-century articulation. At its base along 42nd Street, the building will set back at an angle to permanently reveal Grand Central’s majestic Vanderbilt cornice — a view that has been obstructed for nearly a century.

    Expected to achieve the highest possible LEED certification, the tower will offer 1.7 million square feet of Class-A office space across 58 floors, featuring column-free floors and stunning views through floor-to-ceiling windows. One Vanderbilt will also offer tenants floor-to-ceiling slab heights ranging from 14 feet, 6 inches to 20 feet, a 30,000-square-foot tenant-only amenity floor, and world-class dining.

    “One Vanderbilt will not only emerge as an elegant, tapered new icon on the New York skyline, but will also serve as a leading example of a global trend of connecting train stations to tall towers,” said James von Klemperer, FAIA, RIBA, president of KPF Associates. “This building will change its neighborhood for the better. It will provide a new gateway to the city made possible only through the unusually harmonious partnership between architect, developer, and the City of New York.”

    At its base along 42nd Street, One Vanderbilt will set back at an angle to reveal Grand Central’s Vanderbilt cornice — a view that has been obstructed for nearly a century. Image: SL Green Realty Corp.

    “One Vanderbilt will be a high-performing addition to the Manhattan skyline serving as a blueprint for 21st century commercial development,” said SL Green CEO Marc Holliday. “As the largest commercial property owner in New York, we are proud to partner with the city to create a model for unsubsidized development that drives our economy and makes a critical contribution to its infrastructure.”

    “This new office building, transit upgrades at Grand Central, and expanded pedestrian space are what I call smart growth,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “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.”

    “Not only will One Vanderbilt Avenue be a new iconic tower in the heart of New York City, but with $220 million in public improvements, it will revolutionize the way we use Grand Central Terminal and midtown,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY12). “This is a great example of a public-private partnership, where the public gets new open space and better access to transportation. I want to thank SL Green for being a thoughtful and generous participant in a land use process that really took into account the community’s needs.”

    One Vanderbilt will transform the commuting experience for hundreds of thousands of travelers commuting through Grand Central each day. Specifically, the package of infrastructure upgrades will create a new transit hall in the base of One Vanderbilt, a new 14,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue, and enhanced access into and out of the Grand Central complex for riders of the city subway system, Metro-North, and future Long Island Railroad East Side Access.

    Hines is SL Green’s development manager; AECOM’s Tishman Construction is the construction manager. Construction is expected to be complete in 2020.

    “As the leading builder of New York’s greatest iconic towers, we’re excited to be breaking ground on such a distinctive and visually stunning building, which will be the cornerstone of a revitalized East Midtown,” said Jay Badame, president of AECOM Tishman. “By demonstrating a tremendous commitment to an area of New York that needs new building, SL Green is transforming a neighborhood, and that’s something we are always proud to be a part of.”

    “The MTA worked closely with SL Green as it developed plans for the new building next to Grand Central, securing private-sector investment in transit infrastructure that will make commutes better for hundreds of thousands of our customers every day,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “The MTA will continue to support innovative proposals that link development with transit investment, and we hope that One Vanderbilt is the first of many to come.”

    Information provided by SL Green Realty Corp. ( More information is available at