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.
Photo © 6sqft
Penn Station’s longtime oyster bar has officially closed its doors. After nearly two decades, Tracks Raw Bar & Grill will relocate from its spot underneath the Midtown West transit hub to a new location nearby at 220 West 31st Street, as first reported by Untapped Cities. As 6sqft learned in June, the bar, along with nine other businesses, was forced to vacate to make way for a new Penn Station entrance, part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $600 million overhaul of the station.
Photo of Tracks Bar by 6sqft
Recently-revealed renderings show the final design for the new main entrance to Penn Station. It’s no surprise that, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the overhaul will mean the eviction of 10 businesses including popular commuter watering hole Tracks Bar. Real estate developer Vornado will be making the decision about which, if any, of the businesses–other than Tracks, mostly chain restaurants–can return when renovations are done.
On Thursday Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the final design for the new main entrance to Penn Station. The new 33rd Street and 7th Avenue entrance will provide much-needed direct access to the Long Island Rail Road main concourse and the subway, eliminate congestion by doubling capacity for riders entering and leaving the LIRR level and enhance safety and security. Construction begins next month and will wrap up in December of 2020. The new design is the first we’ve seen of the $600 million Penn Station revamp since last September when Gov. Cuomo revealed a new LIRR entrance and public plaza.
New Jersey Transit announced Thursday it will offer discount fares for three months as it reduces train service to and from New York Penn Station. In addition to its already diminished service, the agency plans to cancel 18 daily trains on five lines and suspend all train service on a short rail segment in Princeton. There will also be no weekend service on the Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex line. All fares will be cut by 10 percent from November through January, Bloomberg reported.
Rendering via the Governor’s office
At a well-timed press event this morning, Governor Cuomo touted the state’s $100 billion building program, the largest in the nation, and said if elected for another term, he’d increase that commitment to $150 billion. Among the many airport redesigns and the subway emergency plan, perhaps no project is more dear to Cuomo’s heart than that of Penn Station. And after a tour of the Moynihan Train Hall, on budget and on track to open by the end of 2020, the Governor announced that the dire safety, security, and circulation situation at Penn Station cannot wait two more years.
While construction wraps up at the LIRR and Amtrak’s future home, the state will build a new LIRR facility in the existing Penn Station. The proposal will double access to the trains with new entrances and an enlarged concourse and will create a permanent public plaza at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue.
Via Governor Cuomo’s office on Flickr
At a construction tour of Moynihan Train Hall this morning, 6sqft had the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the massive skylights that will crown this new concourse. The transformation of the historic James A. Farley Post Office into a bright, modern transportation hub is on time and on budget for its late 2020 opening, at which time it will increase the footprint of Penn Station by 50 percent, providing a new home for the LIRR and Amtrak. To date, 800 people working every day have logged more than one million hours of labor, and the four, massive skylights are perhaps the most stunning example of their efforts.
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.
Grand Central Terminal; image via Wikimedia
Last year, when Amtrak first announced eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station, all hell broke loose. Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicted the planned work would cause a “summer of hell” for commuters and even asked President Donald Trump for emergency federal funds. But, to the surprise of many, the disruption proved to be mild and the repairs even finished ahead of schedule. Promising another painless process, Amtrak announced on Tuesday plans for track work at Penn Station again this summer. From May 26 to Sept. 4, trains that run along the Hudson River will be routed from Penn Station to Grand Central. Schedules for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains will remain unaffected.
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.”