Renderings Revealed for Governor Cuomo’s $3B Penn Station Overhaul

Posted On Thu, January 7, 2016 By

Posted On Thu, January 7, 2016 By In Major Developments, Midtown West, Urban Design

6sqft asked readers yesterday if Governor Cuomo would finally be able to get the Penn Station overhaul off the ground, after various news outlets reported that he would be announcing a plan to do just this. The majority of you said it wasn’t going to happen, but it looks like the long-envisioned project has just gotten one step closer to reality.

During a press conference yesterday at Madison Square Garden, the Governor revealed that he’ll be heading up a major revamp of Penn Station, which he called “un-New York,” according to Gothamist. The more than $3 billion redevelopment has been dubbed the Empire Station Complex, and a request for proposals will go out this week, due back in 90 days (not good news for the decade-old deal with developers Related Cos. and Vornado Realty). As expected, it includes the long-stalled Moynihan Station project that will convert the adjacent Farley Post Office into a large waiting area, similar in size to the main room at Grand Central. This will increase the size of the nation’s busiest transit hub by 50 percent and will connect to the current station by a network of underground tunnels. Though several options are on the table for a redesign, the renderings released by the Governor’s office show a glassy and light structure that’s quite unlike the current space that Cuomo described as “dark, constrained, ugly, a lost opportunity, a bleak warren of corridors… a miserable experience and a terrible first impression.”

Empire Station Complex, Penn Station overhaul, Moynihan Station, Governor Cuomo

Empire Station Complex, Penn Station overhaul, Moynihan Station, Governor Cuomo

Empire Station Complex, Penn Station overhaul, Moynihan Station, Governor Cuomo

One option is to completely remove the Theater at Madison Square Garden, thereby creating a new block-long entrance on Eighth Avenue across from the post office. This idea was explored by the Municipal Art Society about a year ago. Another scenario is to permanently close 33rd Street to traffic and relocate the entrance there under a massive skylight. The post office will be called Moynihan Train Hall, and Governor Cuomo said it should be completed within three years. Overall, the new station will have greatly improved light and air, wider concourses, better traffic flow, improved signage, digital ticketing, and Wi-fi.

Empire Station Complex, Penn Station overhaul, Moynihan Station, Governor Cuomo

Empire Station Complex, Penn Station overhaul, Moynihan Station, Governor Cuomo

The project will be a joint venture of the Empire State Development corporation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road. The overhaul of the post office and Penn station is expected to cost $2 billion, with the remaining $1 billion going towards retail development on 7th and 9th Avenues. About $325 million will likely come from state or federal tax dollars. Cuomo noted that 650,000 people travel through Penn Station every day, more than the traffic at Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia airports combined. And if all goes according to plan, he projects that number will double over the next 15 years.

[Via Gothamist and DNAinfo]

RELATED:

All renderings via office of the Governor

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Neighborhoods : Midtown West

  • urban_wanderer

    As a NJ Transit commuter, I welcome this. But first things first at Penn station. Do something about the disgraceful restrooms, make sure the escalators are running in the proper direction when commuters are exiting or entering the platforms and come up with a strategy to deal with the many homeless people who actually live in the station.

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