One Vanderbilt

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One Vanderbilt
Rendering of the tower's roof
General information
Status Under construction
Type Supertall skyscraper
Location Midtown Manhattan
Address One Vanderbilt Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Country United States
Coordinates 40°45′11″N 73°58′43″W / 40.7530°N 73.9785°W / 40.7530; -73.9785Coordinates: 40°45′11″N 73°58′43″W / 40.7530°N 73.9785°W / 40.7530; -73.9785
Construction started 2016
Estimated completion 2020
Owner SL Green Realty
Antenna spire 1,401 feet (427 m)
Roof 1,301 feet (397 m)
Observatory 1,020 feet (310.9 m)
Technical details
Floor count 58
Floor area 1,750,212 sq ft (162,600.0 m2)
Lifts/elevators 42
Design and construction
Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox
Structural engineer Severud Associates
Civil engineer Langan
Main contractor Tishman Construction

One Vanderbilt (also One Vanderbilt Place[1]) is a skyscraper under construction in New York City on the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue in midtown Manhattan, U.S. state of New York. Proposed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and developer SL Green Realty as part of a planned Midtown East rezoning, the tower will stand next to Grand Central Terminal.

When completed in 2020, the 57-floor, 1,600,000-square-foot (150,000 m2) skyscraper's roof will be 1,301 feet (397 m) high and its spire will be 1,401 feet (427 m), making it the city's fourth-tallest building after the completion of Central Park Tower and 111 West 57th Street.



In the early 2000s, SL Green Realty began looking at sites in Midtown Manhattan to build a new skyscraper for office use. This request for office space would become part of a general trend where Manhattan office space increased 10% from 2000 to 2016.[2] It began buying buildings on the block bounded by Vanderbilt Avenue, 42nd Street, Madison Avenue, and 43rd Street[2] (known as Terminal City).[3]

As part of the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the area around Grand Central Terminal was to be redeveloped, with multiple skyscrapers built in eastern Midtown. This entailed rezoning the 73 blocks of the neighborhood directly around the terminal.[4] However, Bloomberg's plans for a district of new high-rises were rejected in November 2013 because of concerns from residents, preservationists, and local politicians that the influx of office workers to the area could disrupt the area's quality.[4][5] The area was rezoned anyway in September 2013.[6] Plans for the One Vanderbilt skyscraper were released in May 2014. The skyscraper was initially to be 65 stories high, and the proposal came with transit improvements to Grand Central as well as a new 14,000-square-foot (1,300 m2)[3] pedestrian area on Vanderbilt Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.[7]

In July 2014, there was a dispute with Grand Central Terminal's owners over air rights, and the terminal's lawyers threatened to sue for $1 billion.[8] That lawsuit was settled by August 2016.[9]

On September 24, 2014, Andrew Penson, the owner of Grand Central Terminal, made an offer of $400 million in exchange for building One Vanderbilt, proposed as a 1,500-foot (460 m), 67-story building at the time. SL Green would spend $210 million to build transportation improvements for the subway and commuter rail stations below.[10] Penson would sell 1.3 million square feet of air rights, which came with the station when he bought it in 2006. The floor area, which he bought at $61 per 1 square foot (0.093 m2), would be nearly 10 times as much, at $600 per square foot, for the same amount of area in September 2014. SL Green rejected the offer as a "publicity stunt", because in its September 2014 proposal to the city, for $400 per square foot, SL Green wanted to build a tower twice as big as the zoning rules permitted.[11]

A machine moves demolition debris
Demolition underway, August 2016

By September 2014, few details were known about the construction timeline.[12] A projected completion date of 2020 was revealed in December 2014.[13]

In February 2015, Vanderbilt Avenue, between 42nd and 47th Streets, was rezoned under the Vanderbilt Corridor Rezoning Text Amendment, which allows redevelopment on the corridor.[14]

Construction begins[edit]

Construction work at the foundation of One Vanderbilt, seen in August 2017
Work on the foundation, August 2017
August 2018

In 2015, demolition at the site of One Vanderbilt began,[15] starting the construction process of the skyscraper.[16] The buildings that were demolished were built around the same time as Grand Central, albeit unremarkable-looking and unimportant to the station's function.[4] The 18-story Vanderbilt Avenue Building, a Warren and Wetmore-designed structure at 51 East 42nd Street, opened as a six-story office complex in 1902 and expanded in the 1920s. It had a two-story Modell's store that sold sport-related items.[4] The Carrère and Hastings-designed Liggett Building, at Madison and 42nd, opened in 1922. One block north, the Prudence Bond & Mortgage Building at Madison and 43rd, where Governor Al Smith once had gubernatorial campaign headquarters, dates to 1923.[4] Two small structures along 43rd Street respectively housed "an Irish pub and a T.G.I. Friday's."[4]

The official groundbreaking occurred on October 18, 2016,[4] in an event attended by Mayor Bill de Blasio as well as several SL Green executives.[17] By 2017, foundation laying should be completed,[3] with the full building expected to be open in 2020.[3][13]

As of July 2018 the building is 37% leased.[18] Tenants include:

Lobby-TD Bank

2nd floor-Eatery Restaurant

26th floor-DVB Bank

4 Unknown floors-Greenberg Traurig

44, 45, 46, 67th floor-McDermott

36, 37, 38th floor-The Carlyle Group


The building would take up a block bounded by Madison Avenue, Vanderbilt Avenue, and 42nd and 43rd Streets. Air rights from 110 East 42nd Street, the former Bowery Savings Bank building, would need to be transferred to One Vanderbilt.[4][19] One Vanderbilt is being designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.[13] The 57-floor, 1,600,000-square-foot (150,000 m2) skyscraper's roof will be 1,301 feet (397 m) high and its spire will be 1,401 feet (427 m), making it the city's fourth-tallest building, after One World Trade Center, 111 West 57th Street, and the Central Park Tower – and making it taller than the nearby Chrysler Building.[20][21] Upon completion, it would be among the world's 30 tallest skyscrapers.[4] TD Bank has signed on as an anchor tenant for the building,[22] operating within a ground-floor space of 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2).[3] The total cost of the building would exceed $3 billion.[2]

The top 58 floors will be designated as 1,700,000 square feet (160,000 m2) of "Class A" office space.[2] There will be fewer stories in One Vanderbilt than in other skyscrapers of similar height because each floor will have a ceiling that is 14.6 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6.1 m) high.[3] There is also to be a 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) "world-class dining" area for tenants.[3]

One Vanderbilt's facade and design is intended to integrate with Grand Central, across the street.[4] It is set 10 feet (3.0 m) back from the street to allow better views of Grand Central, and the open spaces in One Vanderbilt will span up to 105 feet (32 m) high.[4] The base would include a 4,500 square feet (420 m2) lobby.[23] Its glass facade[4] was described as having terra-cotta in the design, which "would counter the existing office buildings on Madison Avenue and make a connection—a 'selective recall'—to Grand Central."[21] On the bottom few floors, the top section of the facade slopes upward, while the bottom section slopes downward, creating a "diagonal wedge" so that the lobby area on Vanderbilt Avenue (facing Grand Central) would have a ceiling sloping from 50 to 110 feet (15 to 34 m) from west to east.[2]

The new building would also coincide with the MTA's East Side Access project, and station improvements due to One Vanderbilt's construction would provide extra capacity for over 65,000 new passengers going into the New York City Subway at Grand Central–42nd Street.[7][24][25][26] The improvements include an underground connection between Grand Central Terminal and One Vanderbilt; new mezzanines and exits for the subway station, including an entrance directly to the 42nd Street Shuttle platforms; three new stairways to each of the Lexington Avenue Line platforms (along the 4, ​5, ​6, and <6> trains); reconfiguration of columns supporting the nearby Grand Hyatt New York hotel; and a commuter waiting room in the building's lobby.[27][28][26] This would directly result in additional capacity for the subway station, with 4,000 to 6,000 more subway passengers per hour being able to use the station.[28] These improvements would cost over $200 million.[2][29] Outside, Vanderbilt Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets would become pedestrian-only.[27] The MTA mandated the station improvements in exchange for allowing the tower's construction.[12][26] In 2015, SL Green gave $220 million toward the building's construction,[22] of which two-thirds of the money would be used for station redesign,[30] marking the largest private investment in the subway system to date.[28] As part of the station construction, 40% of the basement of the Grand Hyatt New York would be destroyed in order to make room for the expansion of the subway mezzanine, as well as two new subway entrances in the One Vanderbilt building itself.[28][26]

The building is advocated for by the Landmarks Preservation Commission due to its proposed environmentally friendly, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-conforming model.[23] New York Magazine described One Vanderbilt as a rare "civic-minded Goliath," in that while other skyscrapers are usually built in a design that maximizes profit, One Vanderbilt's base is designed for easier pedestrian and transit access in the nearby area.[31]


  1. ^ "One Vanderbilt". Skyscraper Page. Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Morris, Keiko (2016-10-17). "Developer Sees Manhattan Office Tower as a New Landmark". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Warerkar, Tanay (2016-10-18). "One Vanderbilt reveals public plaza, huge transit hall in new renderings". Curbed NY. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chaban, Matt A. (2016-10-16). "Future Neighbor Will Tower Over Grand Central, but Allow It to Shine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  5. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (2013-11-12). "End of Proposal to Raise Skyline on the East Side". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  6. ^ "East Midtown Rezoning" (PDF). New York City Department of City Planning. 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V. (2014-05-29). "65-Story Tower Planned Near Grand Central Terminal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  8. ^ "Grand Central Landlord Threatens Lawsuit Over One Vanderbilt - Commercial Observer". Commercial Observer. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Plitt, Amy (2016-08-10). "One Vanderbilt lawsuit settled, paving way forward for Midtown supertall". Curbed NY. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  10. ^ "Grand Central owner offers SL Green $400M for One Vanderbilt". The Real Deal. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (23 September 2014). "Owner of Grand Central Vies With Developer Over Skyscraper on an Adjacent Block". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Residents Try to Get Details on New Midtown East Plan". WSJ. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c "KPF Pen New York Supertall". Skyscraper News. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Vanderbilt rezoning the start of something big". Real Estate Weekly. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Cuozzo, Steve (2016-03-15). "One Vanderbilt mega-office tower picking up steam". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  16. ^ YIMBY, New York (2014-06-17). "New Details Released for One Vanderbilt". New York YIMBY. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  17. ^ "One Vanderbilt Construction Underway After Official Groundbreaking". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on 2016-10-20. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  18. ^ "Carlyle Group signs on for three floors at One Vanderbilt". New York Post. 2018-07-31. Retrieved 2018-09-11. 
  19. ^ "1 Vanderbilt: High on Grand Central - New York Post". New York Post. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "New Details Released for One Vanderbilt -- New York YIMBY". Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Midtown Giant One Vanderbilt (Mostly) Wows at Landmarks - Megatower Watch - Curbed NY". Curbed NY. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Dailey, Jessica (27 May 2015). "City Council Green Lights 1,500-Foot One Vanderbilt". Curbed. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "One Vanderbilt Gets Nod from Landmarks Preservation Commission - Commercial Observer". Commercial Observer. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "A sneak peek at One Vanderbilt's Grand Central plan - New York Post". New York Post. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "A glimpse at the $200M transit plans for One Vanderbilt :: Second Ave. Sagas". Second Ave. Sagas. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c d Hawkins, Andrew J. "$210M upgrade for Grand Central's subway unveiled". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 2017-08-01. 
  27. ^ a b "65-Story Tower Planned Near Grand Central Terminal". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  28. ^ a b c d Barone, Vincent; Pereira, Ivan (October 17, 2016). "A glimpse at One Vanderbilt's transit improvements". am New York. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  29. ^ "One Vanderbilt Comes with $200M of Subway Improvements - In Transit - Curbed NY". Curbed NY. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  30. ^ Whitford, Emma. "Inside The $220 Million Plan To Improve The Subway At Grand Central". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  31. ^ Davidson, Justin (2016-10-18). "Is One Vanderbilt the 1,400-Foot-Tall Building We Need?". Daily Intelligencer. New York Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 

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