Developers of the Hudson Yards project on Manhattan's West Side held a groundbreaking Wednesday to build the platform that will eventually support the massive commercial and residential complex.
It's the largest private real estate development in U.S. history.
Related Companies' $20 billion project is being built on 28 acres between 30th and 34th streets, from Tenth to Twelfth avenues.
In addition to commercial and residential buildings the area will also be home to a future public school, hotel, cultural and open space.
Officials say the project's location above 30 Long Island Rail Road tracks provides a unique engineering challenge.
"This is an exercise that we have been working on and planning and coordinating for years, and it's wonderful to see it starting today," said Related Companies Executive Vice President Ron Wackrow.
"It's connecting Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen in a very unique way. We are filling the gap between two really great neighborhoods," said Related Companies Vice President Michael Samuelian.
It's been a long sometimes contentious road for the redevelopment of the West Side, which also includes the extension of the 7 line.
During the Guiliani administration, there was talk of the Yankees building a new stadium there, but that fell through and the Bombers stayed in the Bronx.
During the Bloomberg administration, another attempt to include a stadium for the New York Jets and the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics failed to receive state approval. In 2009, the city greenlit rezoning to make way for the current plan.
Massive machines are now in place and will drill below the site to get the process started.
"We have defined windows where we can get the rigs out on the track to drill and not interfere with railroad operations at all, and that's crucial to everybody involved," Wackrow said.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to be complete by 2018.
Once construction on the platform over the eastern section of the rail yards is done, they will start one on the western portion.
The entire project is expected to be complete by 2024.
The de Blasio administration tells NY1 that it has reached a deal with Related Companies to pay higher wages to workers at the development, $11.75 an hour or more.