After starting construction last summer, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM)‘s reimagined Moynihan Train Hall is now beginning to take shape. Part of Governor Cuomo’s Empire Station Complex revamp of Penn Station, the old James A. Farley Post Office will be transformed into a crystal palace-esque boarding concourse with a 92-foot high skylight atop the 1913 building’s original steel trusses. CityRealty recently got an exclusive aerial look at how construction is progressing on the glass skylights ahead of the Train Hall’s anticipated 2020 opening.
James A. Farley Post Office
Recognizing life sciences as New York City’s next largest growth sector, Vornado Realty Trust and Related Companies hope to attract tech companies to the redevelopment of the James A. Farley Post Office. The joint venture will develop 850,000 square feet of commercial space, with roughly 730,000 square feet set aside for office space. The developers, which have a 99-year lease, are seeking biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses as tenants, according to the Wall Street Journal. The team has hired a Boston-based broker with experience in the life-sciences real-estate market and has also created a brochure with possible designs for laboratory and office space. The brochure is titled “Moynihan Research Center at Farley.”
Earlier this month, New York City officially pitched four neighborhoods to house Amazon’s HQ2: Long Island City, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, Lower Manhattan and Midtown West. During its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday, Vornado Realty Trust said the Moynihan Train Hall remains at the forefront of the city’s Midtown West bid, citing the project’s proposed 730,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of retail as meeting the retailer’s key requirements (h/t Commercial Observer). Vornado, along with Related Companies, Skanska USA, and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is converting the former James A. Farley Post Office into the Moynihan Train Hall, an effort led by Governor Andrew Cuomo to create a world-class transit center.
Iage via the office of the Governor
At a press conference this morning in the under-construction space, Governor Cuomo announced that major work has begun on transforming the James A. Farley Building into the state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot Moynihan Train Hall. Along with the news that the $1.6 billion project will create 12,000+ construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs, come new renderings of the station, showing more exterior views and looks at the 700,000-square-foot shopping and dining concourse.
The first phase of Governor Cuomo’s plan to revamp Penn Station wrapped up last month with two new entrances opening on the corners of West 31st and West 33rd Streets and Eighth Avenue. Plus, the West End Concourse was expanded and now boasts a new color scheme, LED screens and murals. Adding to the project’s progress, the state was approved for a federal loan on Tuesday for up to $550 million for the second phase of the plan, which will convert the Farley Post Office across the street into Moynihan Train Hall, expanding Penn Station floor space by 50 percent, as reported by Politico NY.
Just a day after Penn Station‘s long-awaited West End Concourse revealed itself to the public, for the first time allowing Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and NJ Transit passengers to enter and board trains through the historic James A. Farley Post Office across 8th Avenue, Governor Cuomo has announced that Empire State Development signed the final financial agreement with Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska AB for the $1.6 billion Penn-Farley Complex. After decades of delays, construction will now begin to transform the historic post office into the Moynihan Train Hall, a new 255,000-square-foot train hall housing both Amtrak and LIRR ticketing and waiting areas, as well as 70,000 square feet of new commercial, retail, and dining space. But a development announcement from the Governor is never complete without a fresh set of renderings, and Cuomo did not disappoint this time.
As of today, Penn Station‘s long-awaited West End Concourse–the first tangible step towards Governor Cuomo’s ambitious plan to transform the James A. Farley Post Office into the new Moynihan Train Hall–is open for business, for the first time allowing Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and NJ Transit passengers to enter and board trains through the historic building across 8th Avenue. In addition to landscaped entryways, the sparkling new concourse is chock full of LED screens, artwork, and, in true Cuomo fashion, bright, open, and high-tech spaces.
This spring, the 650,000 commuters who travel through Penn Station daily may finally start to witness Governor Cuomo’s $1.6 billion plan to revamp what he called the “overcrowded, decrepit and claustrophobic” station into a more spacious and high-tech transit hub. As the Daily News reports, the first phase of the overall Moynihan Station Development Project will begin soon, extending Penn Station’s West End Concourse to reduce congestion. The second phase will transform the James A. Farley Post Office into the new Moynihan Train Hall, which will hold more than 112,000 square feet of retail and 588,000 square feet of office space, in addition to new ticketing and waiting areas for Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers.
When Governor Cuomo revealed his plans for a new Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex early last week, things seemed to be moving full steam towards a 2020 completion date thanks to flashy renderings and the selection of a high-profile developer-builder team. But architect Vishaan Chakrabarti was not convinced, and he and his firm the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism decided to create their own vision, one that repurposes Madison Square Garden, a facet of the plan he feels Cuomo failed to address.
Vishaan Chakrabarti reveals idea to repurpose Madison Square Garden as part of the Penn Station overhaul, Fri, September 30, 2016
Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo revealed plans to transform a revamped Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex into a “world-class 21st century transportation hub.” Despite the flashy new renderings and promise of a 2020 completion date, not everyone is sold on the plan, including Vishaan Chakrabarti, former principal of SHoP Architects and founder of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. As outlined in the Times, he feels that Cuomo’s scheme has one glaring omission–Madison Square Garden. Instead of demolishing the arena, as earlier plans had called for, Chakrabarti proposes repurposing it and “using its stripped skeleton to make a glass pavilion, which becomes a neighborhood gathering spot, not just a station.” The venue would then move to the west end of the Farley Building.