Guess What 'Empire Station' Replaces

An earlier post on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's big capital project proposal this week gave barely a mention of his new plans for the renovation, or rebirth, of Penn Station, America's busiest rail station.

January 11, 2016, 8:00 AM PST

By Irvin Dawid

The editorial board of The New York Times recaps part of the governor's busy week proposing new renovations to Penn Station, compared in the editorial to "a minimum-security prison that sells magazines and popcorn."

Between Proposal 5 (lower Thruway tolls!) and 7 (a bigger Javits Convention Center!), was one to make a New Yorker perk up: Proposal 6, transforming Penn Station.

The editorial indicates that developers had been selected to perform the transformation of Penn Station and Farley Post Office building into Moynihan Station and that while the first phase is underway, "the overall project has been stalled."

"It is unclear exactly how the more than $3 billion project, which the governor is calling the Empire Station Complex, will be paid for, but Mr. Cuomo is expected to unveil a financial plan for his transportation network at next week’s State of the State speech," wrote The New York TimesEmma G. Fitzsimmons and Charles V. Bagli on Wednesday.

The developers initially selected for the project ten years ago, Related Companies and Vornado Realty, "had agreed to pay the state more than $200 million for the Farley building and $110 million for development rights that they planned to transfer across Eighth Avenue for a residential tower," wrote Fitzsimmons and Bagli.

Should the two companies not be selected for Empire State Complex, "the state would be required to reimburse Vornado and Related for more than $30 million," according to Fitzsimmons and Bagli.

As in the first post on Gov. Cuomo's infrastructure agenda, the editorial board references New York's premier, though controversial builder: "Mr. Cuomo seems to have gone from zero to Robert Moses in 60 seconds."

Friday, January 8, 2016 in The New York Times

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