As 6sqft previously reported, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans early this week for a $1.6 billion overhaul of Penn Station, and further details revealed that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would be responsible for $150 of the project’s costs. Since those plans were released, questions have been raised about where that organization’s share of the tab would be coming from in an already stretched budget.
In a presentation (pdf) Tuesday at the Association for a Better New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that plans for transforming a revamped Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex into a “world-class 21st century transportation hub” were back on track and ready to roll, complete with a slew of new renderings and the selection of a developer-builder team including the Related Companies, Vornado, and Skanska AB, to redevelop the Farley Building.
When Governor Cuomo announced his $3 billion revamp of Penn Station earlier this month, skeptics were quick to point out that all the glassy new structures and reconfiguration of waiting rooms won’t do anything to help the fact that the Hudson River rail tunnels are crumbling. Clearly on the same page, Amtrak announced yesterday a detailed overview of the entire infrastructure project, and it comes in at a whopping $23.9 billion.
According to the Times, “the largest share of about $7.7 billion [will go towards] building the new Hudson tunnel and repairing the existing tunnel. The project includes a host of other elements, including expanding Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan at an estimated cost of $5.9 billion, and replacing rail bridges in New Jersey.”
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.”
After chatter last month that the state may reboot the plan to expand Penn Station into the adjacent Farley Post Office, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Governor Cuomo will announce this week a full overhaul for the nation’s busiest transit hub. It’s expected that his plan will indeed include the projected $900 million post office redevelopment known as Moynihan Station, which will relocate Amtrak’s waiting area, thereby freeing up room to improve current LIRR and NJ Transit concourses. Another component may be to relocate Madison Square Garden from atop the station so that more light and air can filter down to the subterranean space.
But questions still remain. Who will pay for such a massive undertaking? How will this affect the decade-old deal with developers Related Cos. and Vornado Realty? Let us know what you think!
Images: Farley Post Office (L); Current Penn Station entrance (R)
In 2005, the state selected the Related Cos. and Vornado Realty to oversee a $900 million redevelopment of the Penn Station-adjacent James A. Farley Post Office. The project, which came to be known as Moynihan Station, would have turned the full-block structure into an annex for Penn Station. The developers twice tried and failed to move Madison Square Garden into the space; they were also unsuccessful attracting a community college or CBS to the location. And after a promise to close this year on the deal was left empty, Governor Cuomo seems to have had enough.
The New York Times reports that he and state officials met with Related and Vornado last week to voice frustrations about the long-stalled project and express the possibility that they’ll be replaced.
Real Estate Wire: Trump Soho Off to the Auction Block; Moynihan Station Project Gets $40M in Federal Funding, Wed, September 17, 2014
- Unsellable condos at the Trump Soho have sent the building into foreclosure and off to the auction block. [WSJ]
- The Federal Transit Administration handed out $1.9B for Sandy-related upgrades, yesterday. $40M of the available funds will go towards the Moynihan Station and about $13 million will go to the planned $700 million second phase of the project that will turn the Farley Post Office into a terminal for Amtrak. [Crain’s]
- Abby Rosen is throwing down big bucks for 190 Bowery, the hotly sought after home of photographer Jay Maisel. The building was originally built in 1898 as a location for the Germania Bank an has been Maisel’s home since 1966. Estimates value the home at $50M. [NYT]
- The construction of college buildings is booming and spending will top $2B this year. This trend will continue at the same level for at least the next three years, reports say. [WSJ]
- 31 Bond is getting a penthouse addition. [Curbed]
Trump Soho (left); Moynihan Station (right)