New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently revealed plans to renovate Manhattan’s Penn Station. Originally created in 1910 but rebuilt over 50 years ago, the city’s largest intercity rail station is set to undergo a major renovation project, for which the government and transportation agencies will issue a Request for Proposals within the next few days–and, according to Curbed NY, the developer chosen will control all of the retail within the station.
Plans to update Penn Station aren’t new. For years, officials and businesses have talked back and forth about the best way to address the station’s needs. However, as one of the busiest stations in the U.S., finding a way to make updates without stalling service has proved difficult, in addition to questions about funding. Still, with this latest announcement, there are likely questions from riders and those who call New York City home. All of the details are not yet known, but here’s the information we do have from reports:
What Will Be Different?
The Farley Building, also known as the Old Post Office, will be the new hub to service passengers for Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road. Consequently, new entrances will be created, making it easier for passengers to get to their desired destination without the hassle of the current setup. Furthermore, this change will relieve some of the congestion currently experienced in the station, where over half a million cram into daily.
Another key point was the desire to have more natural light in the station. In the Farley Building in particular, the New York Times reported that a one-acre glass skylight will be included in the plans for development, which will undoubtedly create an entirely different atmosphere and aesthetic than is currently in Penn Station.
When Will It Be Done?
Governor Cuomo wants to move rather quickly on the project. First, proposals for development are due within the next 90 days. From there, the government hopes that the renovations will be complete by December of 2020. This short timeline has the potential to make things easier or more difficult for those involved. Though ambitious the payoff will be great.
How Much Will It Cost?
The total cost of the project is expected to reach $3 billion. $600 million of that will come from Related Companies, Vornado Realty and Skanska AB, which will be given exclusive rights to the Farley Building in exchange for their support.
I’m sure many of New York’s travelers are looking forward to the changes. Today’s Penn Station doesn’t match the promise of glory and excitement which many have come to expect of New York, and which exists outside of its dark, overcrowded halls. This will be great for all involved.