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January 23, 2013
by Rick Bell FAIA Executive Director AIA New York
John Zuccotti, Chairman of Brookfield Properties Corporation, at the lectern, while Mayor Bloomberg looks on.Rick Bell, FAIA
Ken Lewis, AIA, a partner at SOM, signing the beam.Rick Bell, FAIA
John Zuccotti with Rick Bell, FAIA.Center for Architecture
Zuccotti and Petra Todorovich Messick, Senior Officer for NEC Outreach & Communications North at AmtrakRick Bell, FAIA
(l-r) Earl Watson, Amtrak; Petra Todorovich Messick, Senior Officer, NEC Outreach & Communications North at Amtrak; Kenneth W. Hanson, Principal Officer, Major Projects NEC North, Amtrak NEC Infrastructure & Investment Development; and Jim Savarese, Deputy Division Engineer, Project Management at AmtrakRick Bell, FAIA

“We are literally, today, building a bridge,” said John Zuccotti, chairman of Brookfield Properties Corporation, at the start of a groundbreaking ceremony on 01.15.13 for the Manhattan West Development at Hudson Yards. The platform upon which the $4.5 billion multi-use project will take shape represents the kick-off of an important part of the Bloomberg Administration’s vision for growth.

Introducing Mayor Bloomberg, Zuccotti spoke of times to come, saying, “Imagine where we’ll be in the future,” and that “Michael Bloomberg will be remembered as the man who rebuilt NYC.”

Taking the lectern, the mayor thanked Zuccotti for his words: “And that from the only living New Yorker who has a park named after him, a park known around the world.” (Although Tom Balsley, FASLA, may be one other.)

Bloomberg described the 5.4 million-square-foot development, and its two office towers and residential units. “People want to see this city survive and grow,” he said. Hudson Yards, he continued, “takes us a big step forward in the transformation of the Far West Side,” adding, “It is just amazing how much development there has been.” An acre-and-a-half of outdoor space is also part of the site plan.

The mayor concluded by saying that “Manhattan West will be a prime location in which to live or work, and will capitalize on the tremendous growth potential that this area has. The best is yet to come for the Far West Side.”

The architectural firm designing Manhattan West – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – was recognized from the podium, as were representatives of Amtrak and Friends of the High Line.

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