"We want complete access to our river, which is beginning to look like Related's river," she said.
The city rezoned a 60-block area to accommodate the project, approved $106 million in property tax exemptions and issued $3 billion in bonds to pay for an extension of a subway line to the area from Times Square.
Officials point to the 23,000 construction jobs, 5,000 apartments — about 1,600 of them affordable — and other amenities it's expected to create. Government agencies also are getting money out of the project: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the property, is leasing it to the developers for $1 billion.
The city's commercial real estate market was rocked by the recession, and some projects — including some towers planned at the rebuilt World Trade Center — have struggled to find tenants.
Hudson Yards has been seen as offering the prospect of good deals on new, high-end space near Manhattan's central business district, said Michael Slattery, a vice president of the Real Estate Board of New York, a trade association.
Bloomberg said the groundbreaking shows that "even in this challenging economy, we are moving forward."
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