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By Amy Piccinich ’18
On Thursday, November 9th, the Real Estate Association (REA) had the privilege of visiting SLGreen’s corporate headquarters and learning about their ground-up development, One Vanderbilt, which is slated to transform the Midtown skyline in 2020. One Vanderbilt will be a 1.6 million square foot office development. It is part of the Midtown East Rezoning Plan, which was implemented by the city to foster the development of new, modern office buildings, and improve public transit and space. It will spur job growth in the city’s largest business district, and be the first to set the trend of many more to come.
The afternoon started with an engaging and interactive presentation by CEO Marc Holliday, who discussed an overview of the project and the vital analysis, decisions, and key stakeholders required to make a project of this magnitude a success. To better conceptualize the completed project and the impact it will have on the surrounding Midtown East district, Mr. Holliday shared design renderings and a virtual-reality video that toured students through the 1,401-foot tall future tower. In addition to the office space, the project will deliver 30,000 square feet of amenities, one of the highest public observation decks in the city, and a public plaza that will connect to a network of subway lines and the Long Island Railroad. Some leases that have already been secured are office leases to TD Bank and DZ bank, as well as a retail lease to renowned chef Daniel Boulud for an 11,000-square foot restaurant complex.
Following Mr. Holliday’s presentation, the students walked the development site with the construction team to learn more about the technical aspects of the project. They got insight into how the architecture will pay homage to Grand Central Station, through both its similar terracotta material and tapered design. Other takeaways on the site tour included, but were not limited to, demolition logistics, excavation and foundation intricacies, and the complex coordination of the concrete chasing the steel rising into the sky. A fun fact shared was that the total amount of steel required to build the tower’s frame will weigh a massive 26,000 tons!
On behalf of Columbia Business School’s Real Estate Association, we would like to thank SLGreen Realty Corp. for allowing us to explore their One Vanderbilt project. The office visit and site tour gave us a first-hand glimpse into the company’s vision for Midtown East.
Amy Piccinich ’18 is an EMBA AVP for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. She is a second-year student focusing on real estate finance. Amy currently works for JPMorgan in the Corporate Real Estate Group.