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NEW YORK CITY-At ground-breaking ceremonies here today for the $1.7-billion Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, Stephen M. Ross, chairman and CEO of the Related Cos. LP, one of the development partners, noted that the development, “will truly be New York City’s landmark for the 21st century.” The new headquarters of media giant AOL Time Warner, it will also house studios for CNN’s New York operations along with broadcast facilities for CNNfn and local cable station NY1.

The facility will feature two 750-foot tall towers together with clusters of smaller buildings and include the 249-room Mandarin Oriental hotel, 203 condominium apartments, 193,000 sf of class A office space, 364,000 sf of retail space and a concert hall for Jazz at Lincoln Center that will seat 1,100

The project got its start 15 years ago when the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which owned the land, and the city sought out a developer to replace the Coliseum, then 30 years old. Boston Properties held development rights for nine years but eventually abandoned the project. Later, the Related Cos. partnered with Apollo Real Estate Advisors and the Palladium Co. to purchase the property for $345 million.

Time Warner will occupy the sixth and eighth floors of the north tower, sections of floors four and five as well as the ninth through the 20th floors of the south tower. Condominiums will take up the floors 36 through 49 in the north tower and 20 through 49 in the south tower. Floors 15 to 35 of the north tower will house the hotel. A circular shopping gallery will provide access at West 60th Street and allow pedestrians to walk to West 58th Street.

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