Penn Station Redevelopment Moves Forward

Empire State Redevelopment unanimously voted to support the planned redevelopment of Midtown Manhattan’s much-maligned Penn Station.

July 25, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Exterior view of Penn Station, Manhattan

littlenySTOCK / Penn Station in 2015

New York City’s economic development agency has approved a plan for the redevelopment of Penn Station and surrounding area, reports Kristine Klein in The Architect’s Newspaper. “Under the approved plan most of the new constructions in the so-called Empire Station Complex will be dedicated to commercial space, including offices and retail, spread across 10 skyscrapers to form an office-centric neighborhood on par with nearby Hudson Yards. The plan also includes 1,800 housing units, a hotel, and a long-overdue renovation to Penn Station, recently dubbed a ‘hellhole’ by [New York governor Kathy] Hochul.”

“The proposed reconstruction of Penn Station will include cosmetic upgrades, the reconfiguration of the train hall serving NJ Transit and Long Island Rail Road, subway improvements, and the construction of a rail tunnel under the Hudson River, all estimated to cost $7 billion, with the surrounding redevelopment proposal increasing the cost another $13 billion.” The project will connect to the new Moynihan Train Hall.

According to the article, “With the ESD’s approval an application can now be made for federal funding to assist with the costs of the project’s development. However, who will dish out the money for the megaproject is still not confirmed.” Neither is a design: “The ESD has not released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the larger design scheme; last month the State formally commenced an RFP seeking architecture and engineering firms to execute the outlined design work at Penn Station.”

After a design is finalized, the project will need to be approved by the Public Authorities Control Board and, if a state bill introduced last June passes, undergo the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

Friday, July 22, 2022 in The Architect's Newspaper

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