ESD’s board adopts project plan for transformative Empire Station Complex

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Empire State Development‘s board of directors has adopted the general project plan and certified the draft environmental impact statement for the area surrounding Penn Station, part of the Empire Station Complex.

The draft plan is a comprehensive redevelopment initiative that will revitalize the area around Penn Station and generate funds to help overhaul and expand theĀ  Station itself. On Dec. 30, Gov. Cuomo announced the grand opening of the Moynihan Train Hall, the first step in realizing this vision.

The Empire Station Complex General Project Plan, supported by a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, would catalyze high-density, transit-oriented redevelopment on eight sites, resulting in a modern, mixed-use district with approximately 20 million gross square feet of Class A commercial office, retail, hotel and potentially residential space in ten buildings. It would roughly double the amount of gross square footage currently permitted across the eight sites.

Additionally, the plan introduces much-needed public transportation improvements, including new entrances and access ways to Penn Station and nearby public transit, and public space improvements to address open space and pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular circulation and enhancements of the surrounding streetscape.

Three of the eight proposed sites would accommodate the potential expansion of Penn Station into the blocks south of the existing station to allow for the creation of new, below-grade tracks and platforms. The adopted plan for these sites would require that the above-grade mixed-use development accommodate the potential expansion under the sites and adjoining streets. The design, construction, and operation of an expanded Penn Station, which is being analyzed as part of a separate planning and federal environmental review process, would be assumed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Amtrak, and the New Jersey Transit Authority.

The project area is generally bounded by Sixth and Ninth avenues to the east and west, and by West 30th and West 34th streets to the south and north in Midtown Manhattan, Community Districts 4 and 5.

ESD is working with Vornado Realty Trust, the owner of a significant amount of property in the project area, including most of five of the project’s development sites. The planning, design and implementation of public realm improvements are a collaborative effort with the New York City Department of City Planning and the New York City Department of Transportation. ESD is collaborating with the MTA, Amtrak and NJT with respect to the implementation of public transportation improvements and the potential expansion of Penn Station.

Empire Station Complex is part of Gov. Cuomo’s Midtown West redevelopment, announced as part of the 2021 State of the State agenda.

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