NEW YORK–Hines, along with partners Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc. and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday on the site of 7 Bryant Park, a new trophy office tower in Midtown Manhattan.

Among the public officials attending the event was New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg who said, “The best days are still to come to Bryant Park–a place the city has worked hard to bring roaring back to life. 7 Bryant Park is set to become another iconic tower, and it will bring more top-tier, cutting-edge commercial space, and more leading companies and their tax revenue to Midtown Manhattan.”

“7 Bryant Park will create thousands of good-paying union jobs at a time when our economy needs it most,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I welcome this project to our city and look forward to its completion.”

“7 Bryant Park is a building that will make New Yorkers proud,” said Congresswoman Carol B. Maloney, who represents the New York boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. “It’s creating good jobs right here in the heart of midtown, attracting top companies and skilled workers from around the world. It is a welcome addition to the Big Apple’s growing list of modern, innovative, environmentally sustainable office buildings that will help keep New York a world-class business destination while preserving the urban oasis that is Bryant Park.”

Turner Construction Co., the general contractor, began construction at the end of 2012, and first occupancy is planned for the first quarter of 2015.

Designed by architects Henry N. Cobb and Yvonne Szeto of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the 28-story, 470,000-sq.-ft. steel and glass tower will offer direct and expansive views of Bryant Park as well as the historic New York Public Library.

“We are privileged to develop a project of such distinguished design at this exceptional location, bringing a first-in-class office tower to the heart of Midtown Manhattan’s business district,” said Tommy Craig, senior managing director of Hines’ Tri-State operations. “This preeminent property will serve as a singular opportunity for a major tenant seeking both a significant branding presence and new technologies to create an efficient, modern and forward-thinking workplace.”

“This well-conceived project has all of the key ingredients we look for, including an experienced developer and operator with a proven track record in Hines, a respected and responsible partner in Pacolet Milliken and a compelling and attractive location at the doorstep of New York’s Bryant Park,” said Kevin Faxon, head of Real Estate Americas for J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets.

7 Bryant Park, located between West 39th and 40th streets on the site of the former 1045 Avenue of the Americas, will include 10-foot finished ceilings, full-height glass windows, two outdoor tenth-floor terraces overlooking the park and multiple top-floor opportunities including the possibility for a signature “duplex” penthouse¬ with outdoor space and views of the park. The building is LEED Gold Pre-certified.

CBRE is serving as the exclusive office leasing agent for the building, with the firm’s CEO for the Tri-State Region, Mary Ann Tighe, leading the team. RKF, led by Chairman and CEO Robert Futterman, is serving as the exclusive retail leasing agent.