Home > News > Legislature Blocks Governor’s Urban Renewal Plans Around Penn Station

Legislature Blocks Governor’s Urban Renewal Plans Around Penn Station

The State Legislature blocked Governor Cuomo from using any of the $1.3 billion he put into the Capital budget for demolishing the blocks around Penn Station for a massive real estate development.

Instead, the money can only be used to improve and expand Penn Station itself, “not for above-grade development.”

Rendering of Empire Station Complex, a 20-million-square-foot redevelopment plan for Midtown Manhattan.

This is great news. But it is only Round One. Now the State must scrap the current Empire Station plan that would level six blocks around the station, destroying landmark quality buildings and evicting tenants. Money from the development, which would be larger than Hudson Yards, was supposed to be used for improving Penn Station. But there were no details of how much the State anticipated raising, or how it would be spent.

The Legislature also allows the funding to go to “other transportation improvement projects” and allows the funding to be transferred to other State departments, agencies or public authority.” So it’s not clear how the appropriation will be used.

We are delighted that City legislators stood up against the threat of eminent domain and allowing the State to run roughshod over the City’s zoning and land-use policies. We anticipate future rounds in this battle. Everyone agrees that Penn Station needs improvement. But it should not mean destroying homes and businesses to accomplish that.

The State Economic Development Corporation has postponed a scheduled May 12 public hearing on the Governor’s plan.

Read our August 2021 Update

Empire Station Complex area from the west, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Support Us


Your donation helps us expand our reach and be your voice for preservation.

Make A Donation

Become A Member

Join the Conservancy and be part of our mission to save New York’s extraordinary architectural heritage.

Join Us

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up to receive our free E-Newsletter, informative alerts, our monthly Mystery Landmark contest, and our monthly Tourist in Your Own Town video series.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: New York Landmarks Conservancy. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact