MIDTOWN, Manhattan — Commuters, visitors and neighbors have been coming and going around the corner of East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue for more than a century.
Another big Midtown project is back on track at the site of the Grand Hyatt. A new hotel, office and retail complex had been announced before the pandemic. It’s back on track and work will include creating better and more accessible connections for commuters.
Demolition of the existing building will probably begin at the end of 2022. Construction underneath the hotel should begin as well. Some storage areas and unused track beds will be rebuilt and opened to commuters.
Jon McMillan is a senior vice president with TF Cornerstone, which is developing the site.
He calls it a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“We sit on top of the connection between the commuter rail lines and subway. Our responsibility is to make those connections as seamless and smooth as possible,” he said.
Developers toured the site with Luke Bridle, Associate Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
That firm is designing and planning the new building and transit areas.
“The huge benefit to the commuter is the travel distances are shortened. The number of level changes is reduced. That will mean reduced congestion,” Bridle said.
The project will include new elevators and be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Developers have paid for transit improvements in the area in exchange for zoning considerations from the city. Commuters from Metro-North and Long Island Railroad will have faster access to the NYC Transit system.
By the end of 2022, the MTA’s major project bringing the LIRR and thousands of commuters into Grand Central should be complete. Construction on the new building is expected to take a few years.