The West Side's transformation is on track and reaching new heights.
The developers of the Hudson Yards project gave the media a tour of the 26-acre site Wednesday and showed the progress of its first phase.
Michael Samuelian, the vice president of Related Companies, said the mixed-used development is important for the neighborhood because it will be a perfect blend of commercial, residential and retail amenities.
"We acknowledge that it's not a building, it's not a set of buildings, it's a whole neighborhood," he said.
The east side of the development, between 34th and 30th streets and 10th and 11th avenues, will be completely open by 2017 and will include four commercial towers, a one-million-square-foot retail space and a public square.
The second phase -- which will be between the West Side Highway and 11th Avenue and includes seven residential towers and a school -- is still in the early planning stages.
Construction on 10 Hudson Yards, the new home for Coach, L'Oréal USA and SAP, is now up to 14 floors and will stretch to 52 stories when finished in late 2015.
One of the main features of the east side development is its 10-acre elevated platform that will connect the various buildings, the future ground level public square and the High Line.
Samuelian said construction on that crucial part is also going strong. Once it's completed next year, it will help facilitate the construction of the other commercial towers and the retail space planned for 10th Avenue, he said.
The developer added that the public won't be able to be on the platform, which will be 10 to 27 feet above street level, after it is completed because it will be used by construction crews.
They will, however, be able to get a closer look at the development when the new No. 7 extension into the West Side opens next year.
"Even with the delays with the 7, they are still well ahead of our first building," Samuelian said.
The developer said buzz is already growing from investors and companies that want to move into the area, including Time Warner, and he was confident that private and public support will continue to grow.
"We see the landscape as a new center, a new heart of New York," he said.