Despite Controversies, Cuomo Keeps Pushing for Massive Empire Station Complex Plan

Checking in with a plan to add a record amount of development space to New York City, championed by the beleaguered governor of New York.

April 16, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Even amid multiple scandals, a weakened Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to railroad through a city-changing land deal that would reshape Manhattan’s skyline," report Josefa Velasquez and Rachel Holliday Smith.

The governor first proposed the plan in question, called the Empire Station Complex plan, in 2016, but the idea has gained momentum in 2021. Still, Gov. Cuomo faces one big obstacle for the plan in getting a $1.3 billion bond deal to fund the project through the New York State legislature.

Gov. Cuomo's push is hinging on "an almost irresistible carrot," according to the article: "the dream of finally fixing everyone’s least favorite transit hub — Penn Station."

The project would include the development of ten large buildings, according to the article, by 2038 in an area dubbed "The Penn District." One of the buildings, called Penn 15, would be comparable to the size of the Empire State Building, according to early project renderings. In all, the development would add 20 million square feet of development—larger than the record-breaking 18-million square feet of development added by the Hudson Yards development.

The article reporting the status of the Empire Station Complex plan is presented in context of an ongoing controversy about Gov. Cuomo's conduct toward women while in office.

Friday, April 2, 2021 in The City

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

University of Arizona

Proposed Transit Line Would Connect Downtown Tucson to Airport

Based on community input for a 15-mile transit line, residents want to see a focus on affordable housing development and anti-displacement measures.

5 hours ago - KGUN

Shuttered strip mall in Niland, California

Strip Malls as a Housing Solution

The American strip mall may be a dying breed of commercial development, but could the buildings serve a new use as sustainable housing?

7 hours ago - Yale Environment 360

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.