Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Empire State Complex, a major redevelopment initiative for the area surrounding Pennsylvania Station. The project team is now completing a final scope of work, which will take into consideration the many comments received from community activists, experts, and officials since a scoping meeting on July 20, 2020.
Governor Cuomo’s primary objective is to deliver a world-class hub of transportation for the millions of New Yorkers, tourists, and commuters that pass through Penn Station each year.
In total, the complex will comprise 19.6 million square feet. This includes 14.3 million square feet of commercial office space, 800,00 square feet of retail, 800,000 square feet of hotel space, and unspecified “non-program area.” If successful, the project will also create a seamless link between Penn Station and the new Moynihan Train Hall, in addition to eight new train tracks, new subway station entrances, stairways, widened platforms, and ADA-compliant access points.
From east to west, the Empire State Complex is bound by Sixth Avenue and Ninth Avenue and spans from West 30th Street to West 34th Street. There are dozens of buildings within the project area, which is organized into eight distinct blocks of project sites. The most notable structures include Pennsylvania Station, Madison Square Garden, Moynihan Train Hall, and the Farley Office Building.
Before construction can break ground, an environmental assessment will also need to take place to consider the potential effects of shadows cast by the new structures, changes to the pedestrian experience, water and sewer infrastructure, public health, and the potential effects on nearby historic buildings. These buildings include the James A. Farley Complex, Hotel Pennsylvania, the church and rectory of St. John the Baptist, the Fairmont Building, the Penn Station Service Building, and some loft buildings on 31st Street.
An estimated cost for the complex has not been revealed. However, according to Governor Cuomo, the project is “self-funded” by city income and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) fees that are issued to manufacturing, industrial, and not-for-profit companies. According to a preliminary schedule from New York’s Empire State Development agency, the final scope of work will be presented toward the end of 2021.
At this time, it is assumed the entire project will be completed by 2038.