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.”
Moynihan Train Hall
Drawing of the original Penn Station, re-created. Credit: Jeff Stikeman for Rebuild Penn Station
In August 6sqft reported that major work was underway in the $1.6 billion transformation of Penn Station’s James A. Farley Building into a state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot “world-class 21st century transportation hub” called Moynihan Train Hall. That hasn’t stopped the flow of suggestions for how to best make use of New Yorkers’ un-favorite transport hub, which have included Practice for Architecture and Urbanism founder Vishaan Chakrabarti’s proposal to repurpose, then move the old building to create a neighborhood gathering spot and a plan by Columbia University’s DeathLab to turn the the station into a landscaped cemetery. Among those voices-with-a-vision is Rebuild Penn Station, a group of architects and preservationists whose intent is to recreate the original McKim, Mead and White-designed Penn Station, and a new ad campaign aims to get commuters on board (h/t Curbed).
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.
Amtrak workers setting concrete on track 10 at Penn Station, image via Amtrak
Amtrak announced on Thursday that the eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station predicted to be the “summer of hell” by Governor Cuomo, have officially ended ahead of the scheduled Monday deadline (h/t WNYC). Following a series of train derailments and system failures, Amtrak began repairing and replacing tracks in July. Over 360 workers installed six football fields worth of track and 176 yards of concrete this summer, according to Amtrak. While regular transit operations at Penn Station will resume Sept. 5, more repair work will continue through June 2018, with most of the work taking place on the weekends.
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.
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.