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.”
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.
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.
- State May Reboot Plan for Penn Station Expansion at the Farley Post Office
- Urban Planners Propose Moving Madison Square Garden to Nearby Post Office
- Starchitecture Firm Snøhetta Will Design Vornado’s Penn Station Area Overhaul
- The Penn Station Atlas Wants to Make the Awful Space Less Confusing
All renderings via office of the Governor
Neighborhoods : Midtown West