The city’s West Side has a new retail, residential and commercial anchor, bringing high-end shopping, luxury living and the new headquarters of Time Warner Corp. to a corner overlooking Central Park.
The $1.7 billion Time Warner Center, a 2.8 million-square-foot complex at Columbus Circle, was to open to the public on Thursday after a black-tie gala Wednesday night.
The two-tower center, which sits at the southwest corner of the park, includes a 40-store retail facility, five world-class restaurants, a new facility for Jazz at Lincoln Center and a 59,000-square-foot Whole Foods supermarket. There also is the opulent Mandarin Oriental hotel featuring plasma TVs in its rooms and a duplex apartment that reportedly sold for $42.5 million.
“The successful completion of this project is testament to the continued vitality of New York,” said William Mack, managing partner of Apollo Real Estate Advisors LP, a primary developer of the site.
The center rises 80 stories above street level and contains 201 luxury condominiums, a 251-room five-star hotel and 211,000 square feet of office space.
“It’s a great part of New York,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the private opening. “It tells you what’s really happening here… the best days are yet to come.”
The gala private opening included performances ranging from Cirque du Soleil to the singers Jewel and Marc Anthony and the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra.
The construction of the complex, which took four years, was not without its troubles, including complaints of traffic and pedestrian headaches.
In 2002, a construction worker was critically injured when a piece of debris fell from the building and struck him in the head. Last year, a fire damaged four floors, injuring an elevator mechanic and 13 firefighters.
Gov. George Pataki told reporters he was “impressed” with the complex.
“It’s worthy of the world headquarters of a corporation like Time Warner,” he said. “It might be a little out of my price range but it’s a great place to window shop.”