NEW YORK, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Coach, Inc. and Friends of the High Line today announced that the Coach Foundation has made a $5 million gift to the Campaign for the High Line, a fundraising effort to open the High Line at the Rail Yards (the final, undeveloped section of the High Line) and build an endowment to sustain the park's long-term maintenance and operations.
The Coach Foundation's gift to the High Line represents Coach's continued commitment to the neighborhood it has called home since the company's founding in 1941. Coach's new global headquarters will be located in Hudson Yards, a 26-acre, mixed-use site located between West 30th and West 34th Streets, and 10th and 12th Avenues. The Hudson Yards district encompasses the single largest piece of undeveloped property in Manhattan and will be the biggest development that has been realized since Rockefeller Center, with the High Line at the Rail Yards wrapping around the site. Coach, Inc. will be the anchor tenant in Hudson Yards' South Tower, occupying 15 stories and 740,000 square feet. The South Tower is the new, 47-story, 1.7 million square foot building currently under construction at West 30th Street and 10th Avenue; the first scheduled to be completed in Hudson Yards and projected to open in June, 2015.
The South Tower will straddle the High Line on West 30th Street, resulting in a new semi-enclosed passageway to be the largest covered area on the High Line when the park opens in 2014. The passageway will be named the "Coach Passage" in recognition of the Coach Foundation's essential contribution to the High Line and the neighborhood it has served for over 70 years.
"As a quintessential New York brand and major employer in the City, Coach has been part of the City's economy since its founding. We are proud to contribute to the historic development and vibrant future of New York's next great neighborhood, the same neighborhood we've called home for more than half a century," said Lew Frankfort, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc. "The Coach Foundation's gift is a concrete expression of Coach's ongoing commitment to the development of the High Line, and demonstrates our confidence in the future of the Hudson Yards community.""With this gift, Coach demonstrates its incredible leadership and commitment to the development of the Hudson Yards neighborhood," said Robert Hammond, Co-Founder, Friends of the High Line. "We extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to Coach for its support. We are now closer to our goal of building an endowment and securing the much-needed support for the final section of the High Line. Once the entire freight rail structure is complete and open to the public, the High Line will provide an historic link, connecting our city's industrial past with the new development planned for the Hudson Yards, for future generations of New Yorkers to enjoy." Frankfort added: "The High Line is an extraordinary example of energetic and pioneering spirit that has driven the city's ongoing economic revival. It is a great honor for Coach to support this type of innovation, one that brings neighborhoods and people together and reflects Coach's deeply rooted core values of community and collaboration." In addition to supporting the High Line's endowment, Coach's $5 million gift will help finance the transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards into public open space. This stretch of the elevated railway, which is still overgrown with self-seeded grasses and wildflowers that grew up when the freight trains stopped running in the 1980s, was donated by CSX Transportation, Inc. to the City of New York in July, 2012, paving the way for construction to move ahead. The City of New York and Friends of the High Line held a groundbreaking ceremony in September, 2012, to mark the start of work on the project's first phase, which is projected to be complete in 2014. The High Line at the Rail Yards is being designed by James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf – the same designers behind the first two sections of the High Line park – along with a team of structural engineers, lighting designers, electrical and mechanical experts, and other construction specialists. The Campaign for the High Line is a fundraising effort by Friends of the High Line and was recently advanced by a $20 million pledge from the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, a $5 million pledge from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and a $5 million pledge from two long-time supporters of the High Line, Donald Pels and Wendy Keys. With Coach's $5 million gift, Friends of the High Line has raised $99 million toward its $125 million campaign goal. About Coach, Inc. Coach, with headquarters in New York, is a leading American marketer of fine accessories and gifts for women and men, including handbags, men's bags, women's and men's small leathergoods, weekend and travel accessories, footwear, watches, outerwear, scarves, sunwear, fragrance, jewelry and related accessories. Coach is sold worldwide through Coach stores, select department stores and specialty stores, and through Coach's website at www.coach.com. Coach's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol COH and Coach's Hong Kong Depositary Receipts are traded on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the symbol 6388. About the High Line The High Line is an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan's West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line's preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park's annual operating budget, and to advocate for the transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets. SOURCE Friends of the High Line