How much of the station's costs have to be paid for by the developers? I thought a lot of federal money was being appropriated for the new station, as well as investments by NJ Transit.
I have to somewhat agree with Fabrizio about the location of the tower. I am not too sure yet until I see more renderings. It just look like it doesnt belong there for some reason.
But It can also attract some companies who rather be next to a major train station. But then again, there is a lot of available and open land close to it.
I know that this area will be as expensive as Grand Central one day. Isn't thats why alot of companies pay a huge price to be next to Grand Central? I think they do anyway because they want to be close to a suburbanite station.
Now I was under the impression though that the money to build the new penn station was already in a 'piggy bank' somewhere. So what do you mean by 'help offset costs'
What costs? After all the money available has been spend?
How much of the station's costs have to be paid for by the developers? I thought a lot of federal money was being appropriated for the new station, as well as investments by NJ Transit.
This would anchor the southern end of Eighth Ave to create another commercial redevelopment corridor. It is a forward thinking proposal as opposed to developing in a vacuum. i don't always agree with this administration, but the development plans it proposes or release are never without a supporting arguments (however, meritous or not).Originally Posted by krulltime
As for price offset, I was involved with the last redevelopment RFP and there is always a "sustainability" and "revenue / cost offset." In this case, I am guessing. Yet, I can't see any other reason for that tower other than to offset public investment dollars.
That tower design might look better shifted 90 degrees and centered along the Eighth Ave. facade. MIGHT.
I like the tower itself, and it relates to the modern entrance corridor nicely. However, I completely agree with Fabrizio's comments to the effect that the tower is a detriment to the old classical facade. The off center placement of the tower will completely undermine the symmetry of the Farley building, sending the eye to wonder aimlessly.
As for the MetLife building, I don't mind it. The architecture is nothing to clamor about, but that plainness only emphasizes the spectacular Grand Central Station and Helmesly Building. The backdrop argument made by elfgam, sum up my thoughts better than I can. I don't like the MetLife building so much as I'm indifferent towards it. I don't think anything special is lost by its placement.
The Eighth Ave. portion of the building is to be the new train station, so the tower would seem to be a no-go on that side.Originally Posted by greenie
And isn't the long term plan to tear down MSG as well as the squat little tower on the 7th Ave. side and put up a new tower(s)? (That plan might be in consideration only if Cablevision were to gain control of the stadium site.) If so no doubt the height of a new MSG tower could make the Farley tower seem like small potatoes.
I read the eight avenue side of the Farley building is supposed to stay a post office entrance. The train station entrance is supposed to be street side under the "potato chip" glass structure in the middle of the block.Originally Posted by lofter1
You're right. That half of the building has the glass roof. I meant to say shift and center the tower to the Ninth Avenue side. However, I think the tower is too narrow to relate to the old building effectively. The proportions would look awkward with slim tower protruding from a wide base. I think the best bet would be twin towers to maintain the symetry of the Farley building. One proposal had twins, but they were apalling.Originally Posted by lofter1
The tower looks positioned to the west of the Pringle, so the Eighth Ave facade wouldn't actually be altered.
wen willl construction start on the pringle?
The winning design hasn't been selected yet. The past few pages have been related to speculation that one particular design will be picked.Originally Posted by hey19932
Final Decision Looms For Moynihan Station
by Matthew Schuerman
Toward the end of an industry luncheon one recent Wednesday, after the roast chicken but before the fruit torte, prominent real-estate lawyer Jonathan Mechanic announced that the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust had landed the contract to develop the Farley Post Office at Eighth Avenue and 33rd Street into the next Grand Central Terminal. It was, he explained, one of the keys to the development of the West Side—and, considering the Jets stadium proposal had just disintegrated two days earlier, the only key within reach.
It was a plum contract, as the developer would control 100,000 square feet of retail space, another 750,000 square feet of potential office space, plus one million square feet of air rights, all with significant tax breaks. In other words, the project—the creation of the new Moynihan Station—will be not just the next Grand Central, but the next 10 Grand Centrals all at once. It was such a long-awaited project, dating back to the invention of the wheel, that the couple hundred real-estate-niks in the audience nodded knowingly. And then they looked around not so knowingly: Was there something in the paper about this that they missed?
There had been rumors on the Internet, to be sure, but in terms of a confirmed, signed, ready-for-the-publicity-department contract, no one had said a word. Mr. Mechanic nevertheless congratulated David Greenbaum, president of Vornado’s New York office division, sitting a few tables ahead of him, and asked how soon the station would be ready. Cushman and Wakefield C.E.O. Bruce Mosler, sitting on the dais as part of the day’s panel, chimed in. "Which is it, David? Two years or three?" He held up two fingers on his right hand, three in his left. The room erupted in laughter, but Mr. Greenbaum muttered something about being a public company and fell silent.
While a state official confirmed that the Related and Vornado partnership is indeed in final negotiations over the lease terms and price with the agency in charge of the project, the Empire State Development Corporation, so is Mortimer Zuckerman’s Boston Properties. To a lesser extent, the ESDC has also negotiated with another bidder, Tishman Speyer, which has partnered with Jones Lang LaSalle, the official said.
The final decision is to be made by the end of July, according to a state official. But then again, the ESDC had said some time ago that it would decide by January. And before that—well, it had named a developer once before for this project, four years ago, only to change the specs so significantly that it had to bid out again.
"We are in the final stages of our evaluation to select a developer for Moynihan Station," ESDC chairman Charles Gargano said in a prepared statement. "This project will be the catalyst for the development of the far West Side of midtown Manhattan."
The station’s appeal is obvious to just about everyone—except the people who were supposed to operate there. Indeed, this is the sort of project with many proponents and no opponents, and yet it is between five and seven years behind schedule, depending on whose timetable you’re using.
Politicians, including the late Senator for whom the station will be named, have long championed Moynihan Station as a way of making up for the loss of Pennsylvania Station, which was torn down to make way for Madison Square Garden four decades ago. No longer will thousands of commuters crawl like ants out of the fetid tunnels of Penn Station and squint when they see daylight. The Skidmore Owings & Merrill design would still put the train platforms underground—they have to be—but will open up the ceiling by means of a giant skylight.
It turns out, according to a few developers and planners, that the city doesn’t need a Jets stadium to develop the West Side, and it might not even need the No. 7 line extension, which was supposed to bring the subway west on 42nd Street to 11th Avenue and then south. And we’re not just talking residential development, which could be built on piers in the Hudson River and still sell in today’s voracious market. "The thing we’re really waiting for is the Farley Post Office," said one executive at a real-estate company. "Once that comes through, you’ll have commuters streaming through to Ninth Avenue and it will make that area that much more attractive to employers and retailers."
The office space in Moynihan Station—including a possible tower that would be put atop the rear post-office annex along Ninth Avenue—could well become the first commercial building to go up in the so-called Hudson Yards district. What’s more, if Moynihan Station becomes a commuter hub for New Jersey Transit, which is still unsettled, it would bring mass transit a block further west.
"We always thought that real-estate market would evolve out of Penn Station, which is already a central business district of a sort," said Anna Levin, co-chair of the land-use committee for Community Board 4 on the West Side. "We actually think it makes more sense that way—development will proceed along 34th Street as opposed to 11th Avenue, which is much further away."
Culture of Inertia
Indeed, political and business leaders are beginning to wipe away the tears they shed after the Jets stadium fell through, if they had shed any at all. Senator Charles Schumer decried, again, what he calls "the culture of inertia" during a recent appearance, though he had never taken a position for or against the stadium in the first place. And he believed that development would continue on the West Side, not only without the stadium but without the tax breaks that the Bloomberg administration was planning to extend to developers who would put up office towers nearby. Instead, he said, focus on the bringing the subway west and aim those incentives instead at Ground Zero, where 4.3 million square feet of office space is going up with only token tenants committed so far.
"Traditionally in this city, infrastructure alone is sufficient to induce development," the Senator said. "Once developers believe the No. 7 line extension is for real they will flock to the area and property values and concomitant property-tax collections will soar."
Many in his audience agreed. "What was important about the city’s incentives for the West Side was that they would bring about enough development quickly enough to get the subway line built in time for the Olympics," said Kathryn Wylde, the president of the Partnership for New York City, a Chamber of Commerce–type group. "Absent the pressure of the deadline of the Olympics, we don’t need the incentives."
A few feet away, William Rudin, the chairman of the Association for a Better New York, and a member of a prominent real-estate family himself, added, "I agree with the Senator that the focus has to be on lower Manhattan. For downtown, it’s critical to get these things done now. The West Side will happen down the road."
The Mayor is not so sure. Later in the day, spokesman Ed Skyler said Mayor Bloomberg is moving ahead with both the No. 7 extension and the tax incentives. "We share the Senator’s beliefs that public money should not be wasted on unnecessary tax breaks," Mr. Skyler said. "These are targeted incentives approved 45 to two by the City Council and designed to provide jobs, affordable housing, park land and tax revenues. We have no plans to scale back the incentives."
How much of a difference the $600 million Farley makeover—not counting the money the developer will spend preparing office and retail space—is going to make on the West Side depends on when, or even whether, it gets made over. The Farley building—call it Moynihan Station if you are optimistic—has become the poster child of a bureaucracy that moves about as fast as the M23 bus. But it’s also an example of a project pushed from above with little support from below. It is easy to see how a pretty building can instill civic spirit and please the public, but will it get people to take more trains? Many agencies are involved, and it’s not clear how many of them are really excited about it to pay for it (though almost all of the money has already been committed). Contrast that to the Grand Central Terminal renovation, which was certainly primed and prodded from outside, but fell squarely in the M.T.A.’s hands. The renovation of Union Station in Washington, D.C.—the other major template—was created by and for Amtrak.
The U.S. Postal Service, after first balking, finally came around as a partner in the project after the state offered to buy the building and lease back a portion. (The post office will still operate there, but in a smaller space.)
Amtrak, for whom this new station supposedly was being built, bailed out on the project a year ago, battered fiscally and politically. But from the get-go, the technical parameters of subterranean space would have limited how much good Amtrak would have gotten out of it. Passengers could have entered the tracks from Moynihan, according to Amtrak spokesman Clifford Black, but for the most part they would have ended up backtracking east toward Penn Station. That’s because the project never called for moving the tracks or the platforms, just the entrances to them.
A state official involved in the project counters that it was Amtrak that came up with the idea of redoing Farley in the first place, and it did so to relieve crowding on the eastern ends of the platforms most accessible from Penn Station. Amtrak, according to the official, was planning to keep Penn Station open even if it followed through on Farley.
Still, according to an individual familiar with the layout of the tracks, just nine of Amtrak’s 21 tracks have platforms that extend more than 200 feet below Farley. The longest ones, which measure a total of 1,600 feet, have about a quarter of their length actually below Farley.
New Jersey Transit is the leading contender to replace Amtrak, and the state hopes to sign an agreement about how much the commuter rail will contribute to the project by July 31. Yet New Jersey Transit, which uses Amtrak’s tracks, will find itself in a similar position, and is still expected to retain facilities in Penn Station as well. Still, with traffic growing quickly on its tracks, New Jersey Transit needs all the space it can get its hands on.
The Long Island Rail Road may also use Moynihan—but again, primarily as an access point. The LIRR’s parent agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has committed $35 million to extend a concourse below Farley’s Eighth Avenue steps that will connect its various tracks, according to a state official.
There are those, including Senator Moynihan’s daughter Maura, who believe that the technical difficulties of conforming to one user or another is something that can be overcome, given enough willpower, and that such willpower will increase exponentially once a developer comes on board.
"The reason the choice of developer is so important is that we will have all that energy and talent that the private sector brings with it," says Ms. Moynihan, who has founded the Moynihan Station Citizens Group to advocate completion. "The stadium debate consumed everyone’s attention. Now we can refocus on Moynihan Station."
Hold out those fingers again, Mr. Mosler. How many do you see?
Finally, some real progress:
Team Chosen for Project to Develop Transit Hub
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: July 18, 2005
The Pataki administration plans to announce today that it has selected a development team to transform the general post office in Midtown Manhattan into a dramatic new $930 million transit hub, a long-awaited project that proponents say will be a catalyst for development and an opportunity for civic redemption.
The Empire State Development Corporation has picked a joint venture of the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust to turn the blocklong James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue into a grand Moynihan Station, named after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the senator who was its champion until his death in 2003. The project includes not only a train station but also a major block of space for retail, office or residential use.
"It's my hope that it'll be a great train station, serving as the city's front door," said David A. Childs, an architect at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill who had designed an earlier version of the Moynihan renovation. "It would be a chance to reclaim the glory of the original Penn Station."
The post office, most of which was built in 1913, sits across Eighth Avenue from the existing Penn Station, a warren of crowded, below-ground passageways connecting two commuter railroads and two subway lines. That is all that is left of the original station, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece demolished in 1963 despite protests by preservationists and architects. Many of Penn Station's existing tracks and platforms, which serve nearly 550,000 passengers a day in the city's busiest transportation hub, already extend beneath the post office.
The original station and the post office share a classical style and the same architect: McKim, Mead & White. The post office's grand staircase on Eighth Avenue and the long row of 53-foot-high Corinthian columns will remain intact, and the Postal Service will maintain a small presence for retail patrons.
The Moynihan Station's principal tenant will be New Jersey Transit, which is desperate for additional platforms. New York State has already made a $20 million down payment on the $230 million purchase of the Farley building from the Postal Service.
State and city officials, urban planners and developers say that the station could accelerate development of the formerly industrial neighborhood west of the post office.
"This project provides a critical addition to the city's transportation infrastructure and offers tremendous economic development opportunities for the neighborhood," said Andrew M. Alper, president of the city's Economic Development Corporation.
The selection is a victory for Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado and one of the largest commercial landlords in Manhattan, and Stephen M. Ross, chairman of Related, the most prolific and politically connected developer in the city today. Vornado has made a major investment in the area around Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, where it owns skyscrapers containing six million square feet of office space, as well as the Hotel Pennsylvania, across Seventh Avenue from Madison Square Garden, and several retail properties.
The joint venture competed against Boston Properties and Tishman Speyer for the project. Vornado and Related were able to offer more money, according to a government official involved in the negotiations, because Vornado intends to transfer about one million square feet of development rights from the post office site to a parcel at the northeast corner of Eighth Avenue and 33rd Street, where it plans to build a tower.
The two companies will pay about $300 million for the development rights and an annual payment in lieu of property taxes, which has not been disclosed. The size of the payment was a point of contention between state and city officials. City officials had wanted the amount to be higher than real estate taxes downtown so the development would not compete with the rebuilding effort in Lower Manhattan.
Vornado and Related have been working with architects at Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum and James Carpenter Design Associates. But it is unclear what remains of Mr. Childs's 1999 design for a soaring, asymmetrical glass and steel canopy that would funnel light into a great entry hall. The government official, who has seen the new plans, said that Mr. Childs's design had been "modified."
The Moynihan project has traveled a twisted and difficult path since Mr. Moynihan first secured federal funds for the project. It now has the support of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Gov. George E. Pataki and Charles A. Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation.
It was first conceived as train station, principally for Amtrak, that would take up about half the Farley building. But the project grew in size and scope to include office space. The Postal Service agreed to move out, but then reconsidered.
The Postal Service relented in 2002, but last year, Amtrak dropped out of the project because of money problems. Its ticket windows and track entrances will remain east of Eighth Avenue.
Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, said he considered the Moynihan Station to be a far more significant project for the future of the Far West Side of Manhattan than the ill-fated $2.2 billion stadium for the Jets. He said it would bring the "portals" of the city's busiest transit hub farther west, from Eighth Avenue to Ninth Avenue, which should spur development in the surrounding neighborhood and provide confidence for commercial builders.
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
First: Does the intended transfer of development rights across the street mean that Vornado is effectively canceling the plan to build above the Post Office building?Originally Posted by New York Times
Second: Although a new station will be great, I don't see how it will really play a big role in spurring development. The biggest spur to development is the rezoning of Hudson Yards, and any kind of incentives that go along with that. The second biggest would be an extension of the 7 line. All this is doing is bringing a fraction of the commuters, specifically the NJ Transit riders, one block west. Furthermore, if East Side Access goes through, that's a good 150,000-200,000 LIRR commuters being rerouted to Grand Central. Still, with this new proposal on 33rd & 8th, in addition to the previously mentioned proposal at the Hotel Pennsylvania site, and Brookfield's site on 31st, there is the potential to create a new mini-district of Class A office space. It would be ideal if construction started here, then moved north along the proposed 7 extension, and met up with southward moving development coming from the Times Square area. I'm anxious to see the new design. I think exterior modification to the station, though, should be minimal. The Pringle is fine by me.
This corner has the Duane Reade, restaurants and the small plaza (with the defunct "fog fountain" which now sprouts ivy).Originally Posted by pianoman11686
Anybody know anything about the tower mentioned here?
So much for the potato chip...Originally Posted by pianoman11686