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Cuomo unveils $1.6 billion plan for new Penn Station complex

A rendering of Penn Staton's new train hall
Photo – Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday unveiled a $1.6 billion overhaul of Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station and the Farley Post Office Building into a transportation complex that will feature a new train hall for Amtrak and commuter trains, new rail concourses and retail and office space.

Cuomo also announced the selection of the developer-builder team that will develop the Farley building into the 255,000 square-foot train hall, which will house passenger facilities for Amtrak and MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).

The team is made up of three companies: Related Cos., Vornado Realty LP and Skanska AB. The new train hall will outsize Grand Central Terminal, Cuomo said.

"The new train hall we are building will be magnificent and world class," Cuomo said. "New York will not have seen anything like it in decades. It will be 10 stories high and 50 percent larger than the existing Penn Station. It will become a destination."

In addition to the train hall, the joint venture will develop 112,000 square feet of retail and nearly 588,000 square feet of office space within the Farley building, which is across the street from Penn Station. Preconstruction work will begin this fall; the new train hall is expected to be completed by December 2020.

Also, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will initiate a redesign of the LIRR's existing 33rd Street concourse at Penn Station and extensive renovation of the adjacent Seventh and Eighth Avenue subway stations. Construction of the LIRR concourse and subway stations will be concluded before the Farley train hall work is completed.

For the remainder of Penn Station that Amtrak currently occupies, Amtrak will work with Empire State Development (ESD) to redevelop that space. The request for proposals for preliminary design of the Penn Station improvements were sent to pre-qualified consulting firms yesterday, Cuomo said.

All work on the complex will be coordinated with Amtrak's plans for the Gateway project, which involves building new Hudson River rail tunnels that will link the station, Manhattan and New Jersey.

The joint venture team has guaranteed the project to be completed on time, Cuomo said. As part of the agreement, the team will pay the state $600 million in recognition to the value of the development opportunity within the Farley building.

The remainder of the project will be funded by $570 million from Empire State Development and $425 million from a combination of Amtrak, LIRR, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and federal sources, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office.