Two major tech companies are vying for office space at the former James A. Farley Post Office in Manhattan. The New York Post reported on Tuesday that Facebook and Apple both want to lease space at the former post office which is being converted by Vornado Realty Trust into a mixed-use site with 740,000 square feet of office space and a new train hall underneath. In September, it was reported that Facebook was in advanced talks for office space, but according to the Post, Apple has “suddenly decided it, too, wants all four floors of Farley’s office space.”
Moynihan Train Hall
Facebook has been on the hunt for office space in NYC for several months and now the tech giant has set its sights on the former James A. Farley Post Office, as the New York Post first reported. Sources say the company plans to lease all 740,000 square feet of office space currently being built in the old post office across from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. The landmarked building—redubbed Moynihan Train Hall—is being redeveloped by a team including Related, Vornado Realty Trust, Skanska USA and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. It’s on track to open next year.
Rendering: DXA Studio.
A curvy urban pathway designed by DXA Studio could allow commuters to pass between the new Moynihan Train Hall at West 31st Street to the High Line and Hudson Yards at 30th Street without having to deal with cars at all. The design is the grand prize-winning entry–for a $15,000 prize–in the 2019 Design Challenge by Metals in Construction magazine. The contest asked architects, engineers, and students to create a pedestrian bridge that could safely move the approximately 100,000 people daily that travel from the train hall to Hudson Yards while keeping the foot traffic from affecting the street below.
Rendering of Metropolitan Lounge via FXCollaborative
New renderings, as well as additional details, were released this week of Amtrak’s new amenity space in Moynihan Train Hall. ClubAcela is getting rebranded as the Metropolitan Lounge and moving across the street from Penn Station to the new train hall, which is set to open in early 2021. Designed by FXCollaborative, the sleek new space offers more room, private restrooms, free WiFi, and better food and drink options.
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.”
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.