Andrew Cuomo's Tour of Major Infrastructure Project Renderings leading up to next week's State of the State power point address yesterday laid out his admin's plan for redeveloping Penn Station. And that's of interest here because NYP is the destination for so many train rides out of Albany-Rensselaer.
Cuomo is proposing a two-part plan for the Penn Station redevelopment: moving the train station portion of the facility across 8th Ave to a new station at the current post office building there, and then redeveloping the current Penn Station space as a subway hub. And there would be a new name for the two-part complex: Empire State Station.
Here are a few more bits and some renderings...
They're above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.
Press release blurbage:
Farley Post Office Redevelopment: As part of the Governor's proposal, the Farley Post Office, which sits across 8th Avenue from Penn Station, will be redeveloped into a state-of-the-art train hall for Amtrak, the new train hall, with services for passengers of the Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and the new Air Train to LaGuardia Airport. The train hall will be connected to Penn Station via an underground pedestrian concourse, and increase the station's size by 50 percent. At 210,000 square feet, the train hall will be roughly equivalent in size to the main room at Grand Central Terminal. The new facility will offer more concourse and circulation space, include retail space and modern amenities such as Wi-Fi and digital ticketing, and feature 30 new escalators, elevators and stairs to speed passenger flow. The Governor's proposal also calls for an iconic yet energy-efficient architectural design.
Moving the "train hall" to the post office site isn't a new idea. Former New York US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed it decades ago, and there was
It sounds like the plan for the Penn Station redevelopment is still a bit amorphous -- this deck of slides lays some of the design options Cuomo presented Wednesday.
The Cuomo admin says the total cost of the project would be $3 billion. Of that, $325 million "will come from government sources, including USDOT, Port Authority and Amtrak." The rest would come from private developers, who would put up the money in exchange for development rights at the sites. The state will be issuing a request for proposals and is looking for submissions within the next three months. The admin expects the project to be completed within three years, with the train hall finishing first.
The current Penn Station is... not good. So a better/more efficient/less ugly version would be welcome. But as it probably should go without saying, there's also good reason to skeptical -- because of the cost, because a developer isn't (publicly) attached, because designs aren't finalized, because this idea has been in the works for decades.
Albany to NYC
Albany-Rensselaer is the 9th busiest Amtrak station in the country, with more than 780k passengers either boarding or disembarking at the station in fiscal year 2014. (Penn Station is Amtrak's busiest station, with more than 10 million "on offs" there each year.) And the vast majority of passenger traffic to/from Albany-Rensselaer is connected to New York Penn. [Amtrak] [NARP]
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