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NEW YORK (AP) - Work to transform the largest undeveloped property in Manhattan from a railroad storage yard into a sleek new neighborhood of spiky high-rises and graceful parks has gotten its formal start.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday for a new neighborhood and $15 billion project called Hudson Yards. The 26-acre site on Manhattan's west side is the planned home for a new business district.

Developer Stephen Ross compares it to the Empire State Building, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center and other iconic developments.

The area is now old Hudson rail storage yards, with warehouses and low-rent brownstones.

Those connected to the plan envision millions of square feet of office space and housing, as well as a riverfront park and a cultural center.

The first building isn't expected to open until 2015.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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