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Slam the Brakes on the State’s Penn Station Plan

Objections to Governor Hochul’s plan to raze blocks around Penn Station to build 10 giant office towers grew even more this week. State Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman slammed the project, and its potential cost to taxpayers, in a Daily News Op-Ed.

“Mayor Adams and the City Council should be appalled,” they wrote, “New Yorkers and commuters should be aghast. And, most importantly, Gov. Hochul should continue correcting the mistakes of her predecessor by pumping brakes on this runaway train.”

Rendering of Penn Station Civic and Land Use Project, an 18.3-million-square-foot redevelopment plan for Midtown Manhattan.

That was the Senators’ conclusion. They prefaced it by saying “far too many questions remain unanswered.”

Here are some of those questions.

  • How much would the developer contribute to Penn Station improvements by being allowed to build “one of the largest commercial developments in the history of New York?”
  • What would the developer get in subsidies?
  • How much tax revenue would the City lose per year and what is the state’s plan to make the City whole?
  • What are the specific plans to improve Penn Station?
  • What is the price tag?
  • Why circumvent the City’s zoning and land use approval process?
  • And the kicker: ”Who gets stuck if the developer payments don’t work out?” Answer: “You, the taxpayer.”

The State is “awash in infrastructure funds from the federal government” that could be used on Penn Station, the Senators noted. They urged the Empire State Development board not to vote on the plan until there is a proper public analysis of the project, real community input, and real numbers on the cost.

Senators Krueger and Hoylman questioned this project at the start. Their public objections this week couldn’t be more devastating or more welcome.

New Yorkers are aghast. Are our electeds appalled? Let’s find out.

Look up your Councilmember and email them saying: “We urge you to speak out against the Governor’s Penn Station plan and get our State Senator and Assemblyperson to object as well.”

Penn Station needs a real plan for real improvements. We don’t need another mega real estate deal.

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