Governor Andrew Cuomo this week unveiled a multi-billion dollar initiative to revitalize and rebuild infrastructure across New York State. Entitled “Reimagine | Rebuild | Renew,” the 2021 agenda is touted as the largest state infrastructure plan in the country and sets in motion the improvement of state roadways, public transportation, airports, and large swaths of Midtown, Manhattan.
An Environmental Assessment Statement for 109 East 42nd Street in Midtown East reveals details for the proposed Project Commodore, a 1,646-foot-tall skyscraper on the site currently occupied by Grand Hyatt New York. Developed under the Commodore Owner LLC by RXR Realty and TF Cornerstone, the mixed-use supertall is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Components include 2,108,820 square feet of office space, a smaller 500-room Grand Hyatt hotel, approximately 10,000 square feet open-air publicly accessible space, and 43,370 square feet of retail including some controlled by the MTA on the cellar, ground, and second floors.
In a master plan created in part by the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), 12,000 affordable apartments could be built over Sunnyside Yard in Queens. If it comes to fruitrition, it would be the largest recent development of affordable housing, to the tune of an estimated $14.4 billion. The hefty price includes the deck over the rail yard on which the residential buildings will sit, as well as the streetscape and infrastructure for utilities, a new rail station for commuter trains, multiple schools and libraries, commercial space for offices, manufacturing, and retail, and 60 acres of open space and public parks.
Ahead of the 17th anniversary of 9/11, the first subway trains began to stop and deliver passengers in and out of the newly opened Cortlandt Street subway stop on the 1 train, which was closed for nearly two decades from the collapse of the Twin Towers. Today, with a long, bright and expansive platform, the entrance from the Oculus can be found on the western side of its second floor while coming down from the Greenwich Street doors, or from the street, thanks to a series of double stairways and an ADA-accessible elevator next to the Memorial and future Performing Arts Center.
New York City’s various media publications have been reporting on the worsening transit crisis with increasing frequency, and as the headlines make clear, the state of the subway is bleak. But combining what’s already-happening with what’s impending begs the question no one seems to be asking. In a city where subterranean infrastructure is already decaying quite rapidly, when will rising tides of increasing frequency result in a transition away from underground transit?