The New York City Council is expected to finally give authorization for SL Green to go forward with its plans for a new mega skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan right next door to Grand Central Station which will be called One Vanderbilt, The New York Post has reported.
This is great news for SL Green which has been fighting a series of frivolous assaults on its project since it was first revealed a year and a half ago.
For example, Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe argued before the New York City Planning Commission in February that should the government allow the developers to take the property for the development away from the Grand Central Station owners led by Andrew S. Penson it would amount to an unconstitutional deprivation of private property at the hands of government.
Under the current development plan the City of New York, Prof. Tribe pointed out, would grant the land to SL Green in exchange for $210 million worth of improvements to the station, including a new entranceway.
And last December Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 tried to force a redesign of the proposed tower. The two boards proposed moving the tower’s lobby from its planned location on Vanderbilt Avenue at East 43rd Street to Madison Avenue and 43rd. The lobby is also intended to serve as a new entranceway to Grand Central Station.
They also wanted its green LEED certification to be raised from Gold to Platinum.
SL Green has pledged to spend $220 million on public amenities for the 67 story tower as well as underground tunnels to train lines as part of its efforts to win approval for the project.
The firm’s CEO Marc Holliday told the Post, “One Vanderbilt will usher in a new era for East Midtown with critically needed state-of-the-art office space and a dramatic upgrade to Grand Central’s transit infrastructure.”
One Vanderbilt will feature 1.6 million square feet of open and efficient LEED-certified Class A office space on the entire block of Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd and East 43rd Street. As part of the development, SL Green will deliver a $210 million package of public transit infrastructure improvements which will create critically-needed transit connections to Metro-North and 4/5/6/7 and S trains, as well as future East Side Access LIRR lines.
With the vast majority of funding allocated to upgrading the commuting experience in the over-burdened Grand Central 4/5/6 station, this unprecedented private investment will significantly improve pedestrian flow, allowing for more trains to enter the station, as well as alleviate crowding and circulation on mezzanine and platform levels.