The Conservancy is testifying today before an invitation-only hearing of two State Senate Committees focusing on the financing of the Penn Station Redevelopment Project.
Despite a wide range of unanswered questions, the project may be approved by the State next month.
Our main issue is the planned destruction of a vibrant swath of Midtown Manhattan that contains several notable historic buildings and businesses that employ more than 8,000 people. This is a return to urban renewal, which was discredited years ago. We also decry the lack of public information and participation, because the State bypassed the City’s own transparent zoning and community engagement practices.
Others have raised questions about the need for giant new office towers; the future of Madison Square Garden’s location; how will transit be improved, if at all; how much federal funding is available; and why the State isn’t planning to raise bonds to pay for capital improvements as it has traditionally done.
Our testimony labeled the plan “bad for New York; bad for taxpayers; bad for the environment, and profoundly anti-urban.”
We also quoted former Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward who called the redevelopment “a massive real estate play in search of a transit program …. Is this the City we will want to live in?” – Crain’s Op-ed, April 2022
The more you understand this proposal, the worse it gets. We think it should be stopped, period. There is no need to approve it now, and every reason to put it on hold until all the questions are answered.