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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – After 10 years in the making, the Hudson Yards development is officially open to the public.

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Anderson Cooper and Andra Day were joined by choirs, Broadway stars, athletes, even Big Bird for the grand opening Friday.

Full Video: Hudson Yards Grand Opening Ceremony 

“Today, we are a new neighborhood where the West Side all comes together. Today, we created a new model for the world to see a neighborhood development that encourages sustainability and resiliency. Today, we created a dynamic hub of creativity and innovation. Today, once again, we showed that New York will always be the greatest city in the world,” Related Companies CEO Stephen Ross told the crowd.

Hudson Yards is the most expensive private real estate project in U.S. history, featuring more than 100 stores, restaurants and luxury condos. It’s the city’s largest development since Rockefeller Center.

The sprawling complex that sits on top of a Long Island Rail Road yard was six years in the making since they first broke ground.

“It was a little bit like open heart surgery, swinging steel and really working with the railroad,” said Hudson Yards President Jay Cross. “There was a lot of structural gymnastics.”

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Web Extra: CBSN New York’s Alice Gainer Tours The ‘Vessel’ Within Hudson Yards

It’s a place where New Yorkers can work, live and play, with 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space.

“We’re not just selling a building,” Senior Vice President Sherry Tobak said. “The reason why people are living here is because of the lifestyle.”

Condos start at $3 million and range up to $32 million, but there will be 1,100 units of affordable housing.

The neighborhood is expected to generate new jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers with 100 shops, dozens more restaurants, 14 acres of gardens and parks, and even a performing arts center, called “The Shed,” which has a retractable roof. There’s also “Vessel,” a 150-foot structure the public can visit and climb.

Absent from Friday’s festivities was Mayor Bill de Blasio. The project was initiated by former mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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For a chance to check out the Vessel, click here.