Six weeks after the Moynihan Station projected earned an $83 million TIGER grant that will enable the city to build Phase I of the ambitious Penn Station expansion plan, New York’s Empire State Development Corporation has approved the amended General Project Plan. (View the amended Project Plan here.) The ESDC vote kicked off the public approval process, and the next major milestone will be a public hearing on Wednesday April 28 at the Farley Post Office, the future site of the project.
“Too many have waited too long for relief at Penn Station,” Robin Stout, Moynihan Station Development Corporation president said in a statement after the vote. “As we move through the public approval process, we will also be concluding our design and documentation so that Phase 1 construction can begin as soon as possible.”
As the Moynihan Station plan moves forward — with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as the lead architects — the costs remain an issue. Phase I is a $267 million project that simply improves access to the current Penn Station by constructing more entrances and widening a few platforms. Phase II, which will turn the Farley Building into a rail hall, will cost between $1-$1.5 billion and has not yet received any funding commitments. Baby steps are better than no progress at all, but I’m not too optimistic that the Moynihan Station plan as it currently exists will see the light of day anytime soon.