New skyline forms on Manhattan's far West Side - New York News

New skyline forms on Manhattan's far West Side

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Built around and on top of railroad tracks leading in and out of Penn Station, Manhattan West is no ordinary construction project.

"What Brookfield is doing is making land where land didn't exist before in areas that are hard to build on," said Henry Caso, vice president of construction for Brookfield Office Properties. "I get to play with some very cool toys as part of this project."

That big toy is a mega-sized piece of machinery called The Launcher. Each of the concrete segments weighs more than 50 tons. The launcher lifts them up putting them into place creating a span. Eventually 16 spans will cover the train tracks down below. It's technology typically used in bridge construction, and the first time it's being used for building construction in New York City.

Once the platform is complete, two 60-story skyscrapers and a residential tower will rise from the bedrock with a pedestrian plaza in between.

With 5.4 million square feet of development planned, Brookfield CEO Mitch Rudin said Manhattan West is an important piece of the area's transformation.

"The whole West Side has changed so much," Rudin said. "Whatever direction you look -- north, south -- you see these towers coming up. Seems if you're here, every six months you see something new."

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