The long-delayed Hudson Yards construction projects is one of the most interesting in recent memory. Over the next three years, the real estate firm Related Companies will essentially construct a neighborhood from scratch, building a platform over the MTA’s West Side Yard, which stretches from 10th to 12th Avenues between 30th and 33rd Streets, and constructing 16 skyscrapers containing over 12,700,000 square feet of office, residential, and retail space.

Today, ground broke on the first of those buildings, a 47-story tower at the corner of 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Several political heavy-hitters, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, were on hand to give hearty slaps on the back to everyone involved. “After years and years of planning and partnership, breaking ground on the first commercial building of Hudson Yards is a wonderful thing,” said Bloomberg. “Today’s groundbreaking means that the market has spoken, and that even in this challenging economy we’re moving forward to make the Far West Side’s economic potential a reality.”

Hudson Yards’┬áhistory began with a rezoning in 2005, and Related and co-developers Oxford Properties hope to have it finished by 2015. That’s a rendering of the new neighborhood from Related above, and here, you can check out Curbed‘s nifty map of where some of the more notable buildings will end up.