Development Questions Continue for Penn Station Area
Questions about New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to demolish six blocks around Penn Station for massive commercial towers continue to grow. Now 15 state senators, led by Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman, have asked the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) to halt the plan “until critical questions are answered.”
While agreeing that Penn Station “must be updated and sufficiently funded,” the senators wrote in a March 9 letter, “…vital information about the proposed Penn Station deal has not been provided to taxpayers and the lawmakers elected to ensure their dollars are spent wisely and their city is developed smartly.”
Three key answers the senators want are…
- an updated economic analysis of how much the new development would yield in taxes to support the Penn Station project given the current market for office space;
- what happens if the expected rents from the project don’t materialize? Will taxpayers be on the hook?
- and how much Vornado, the main developer of the project, would contribute to public space and transportation upgrades in return for a massive windfall of development rights.
Since the plan circumvents City and State planning laws and reviews, the ESD has sole authority to approve the plan. “You cannot push this plan forward without answers,” the senators wrote.
Here’s how you can help…
Read the letter and all the senators’ questions here.
Then email Empire State Development President & CEO, Hope Knight Hope.Knight@esd.ny.gov, and say: “Halt the Penn Station plan and answer the questions in the senators’ letter.”
If your senator signed the letter, please say thank you. The list of senate emails is here.
Our main issue is the threat of eminent domain and needless demolition of historic buildings in a vibrant section of midtown. But the Penn Station project is raising questions and opposition from a number of angles. Here is a sample of recent articles against the plan.