Again, release Plan B already! It doesn't matter if Cablevision has agreed to it or not, at this point it's just a proposal. It won't hurt to see it. Or at least get the specifics of the plan. I expect Pataki will lean on the developers, as his time is running out.
Are you ^^^ saying that there is a proposal on the table that doesn't include building the inter-modal hall?
Or that they should just drop the inter-modal portion of the existing plan?
There has been, in existence, an 'alternate' set of plans which limits the design space to account for only the east building... that is minus the annex and minus the intermodal hall. It's been neglected for the longest time however. The plan for a complete Moynihan station, that is the east building plus intermodal plus annex (retail) has been in full swing for 2 months. As a matter of fact, a design addendum is due this wednesday for the west building (retail and usps).
Unfortunately this reveals very little about the whole MSG soap opera because sadly, engineers are the manwhores of their architect masters. We only feed on what is given to us and must scrap years of work in a single command. In turn, architects are loyal bitches of developers and clients. If they want the damn MSG then they'll get an MSG. If they don't then they won't. I just wish they would agree on something so that I know the overtime hours I put in would actually mean something in the end. Sorry I'm straying off into my personal frustrations with this whole ordeal.
Something I did sense however is that the architects themselves seemed to be in a motivational limbo. This whole insecurity of uncertainty seems to be taking a toll on them as well. Architects work on vision. If their vision includes... maybe this or maybe that or maybe not this at all but all that instead... it seems to confuse them and sap them of their drive. So yeah, the design process at least is progressing towards a sans MSG Moynihan but it really means nothing because a goal hasn't been established by man with the checkbook. Unfortunately, the man with the checkbook in this case is the government. As for the alternate plan, it is very under-developed at least from my perspective... it can barely be considered a schematic at this point. Can it serve as a proposal? Perhaps. Why aren't they proposing it? Only God knows.
Last edited by Vengineer; September 26th, 2006 at 11:34 PM.
Jesus, from what I'm looking at right now, we better pray the MSG plan gets approved and gets transferred over onto Moynihan. Many people seem to have great ambitions and tall plans for the MSG site. Forget Ground Zero and the Con Ed Site, this plot of land on Midtown can have amazing results.
Last edited by Vengineer; September 28th, 2006 at 06:33 PM.
Any chance for another "Wired NY Exclusive", Vengineer?
As you predicted ground zero's designs better than Nostradamus could have, I am curious about your insight into this project. When you say: "from what I'm looking at right now...," are you looking at a model or actual plans? By the way, didn't you confirm that the crappy Penn Plaza on 7th won't come down? That's a shame.
It would be the perfect place for the extra space. Real estate around transit hubs should be used for commercial high rises, not for basketball arenas.
Moynihan Station's final push
Pataki aides argue that delays threaten funds, bigger project
By Anne Michaud
Published on October 02, 2006
Gov. George Pataki's economic development chiefs are preparing a final push to win approval for the Moynihan Station rail terminal, a once-popular project that top state Democrats are challenging in the final days of the Republican governor's term.
Officials of the Empire State Development Corp., the governor's economic development agency, continue to field financial questions from state Comptroller Alan Hevesi. They hope that Mr. Hevesi will soon acknowledge that he's satisfied. A spokesman says that the comptroller is reviewing ESDC's latest response.
At the same time, ESDC is meeting with the project's developer, a joint venture of The Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust. The parties are hammering out the final details of an agreement that will allow the developer to publicly support quick action on the project.
West Side destination
The plan for Moynihan Station--a $900 million effort to create a destination terminal out of the Farley Post Office and ease crowding at neighboring Pennsylvania Station--could unravel if it's not approved by the end of this year, argues ESDC Chairman Charles Gargano. "If we don't move this project right now, this project could die," he says.
Mr. Gargano adds that if the project falls through, a far more ambitious plan would also be endangered.
That scheme involves relocating Madison Square Garden and developing a commercial and transportation hub on West 34th Street that would outstrip the scale of the World Trade Center site. Skyscrapers would be built in place of the current Garden, and Penn Station, now located underneath the Garden, would be made roomier and opened up with skylights. Commuter rail and subway lines would meet in one concourse.
Other parties are so enamored of the broader possibility that it's tripping up the progress of Moynihan Station: They're pushing to delay the rail terminal and advance the more ambitious project. Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver--who has twice declined to vote to approve the station--wants more details about the bigger project, which he refers to as "Plan B."
Mr. Gargano says that it's not a question of Plan A versus Plan B: It's really Phase I and Phase II. The bigger plan cannot proceed without Moynihan Station, since the rail terminal must be operating before parts of Penn Station can be shuttered.
"There is no Plan B," Mr. Gargano says. "Out of courtesy, the developers showed a model of what they're envisioning down the road. Moynihan Station is the only plan that's gone through the process and has the funding."
It's unclear why Messrs. Hevesi and Silver are holding up the rail station. GOP gubernatorial candidate John Faso has accused Mr. Silver of trying to rob Mr. Pataki of the credit for bringing Moynihan Station this far. Some speculate that the Democrats are stalling so that the Pataki administration can't saddle the new governor--presumably Democrat Eliot Spitzer--with an agreement that gives away the store to Related and Vornado.
Another motive could be that Mr. Silver is playing for time to help a friend: Cablevision Corp., owner of Madison Square Garden. By delaying the project, Mr. Silver strengthens Cablevision's leverage with the Bloomberg administration, which favors moving the Garden but not allowing it to retain a property tax exemption.
Seeking common ground
Some parties are trying to find common ground so that both projects can move forward.
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, wants Moynihan Station to proceed, but only if the developers and the governor commit to moving the larger proposal through a public review process. The bigger idea has enormous potential, she says.
"The door's got to be open so the developers can make that commitment [to the larger plan]," Ms. Wylde says. "Otherwise, it's just talk."
The Moynihan Station plan has been dragging on so long that its namesake and main champion, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has died in the interim. His daughter, Maura Moynihan, follows project developments closely and brought in an architect, David Childs, to handle the design. Some $100 million has been spent so far for engineering, security upgrades and more.
Advocates say that further delay could cost New York the $130 million in federal transportation funds now promised.
The New York and New Jersey congressional delegations--including Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton--had to fight efforts in 2003 and 2004 to have the project declared inactive and seize the funding for other purposes. The legislators also argue that some $1 billion needed for the broader plan would be more likely to materialize if New York uses the money committed now.
Mr. Gargano says that if Moynihan Station is not approved this year, he will recommend that the U.S. Postal Service sell the Farley building to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey rather than to ESDC. The Port Authority has invested $50 million, which it would lose if the project were to fall through. Far better to use the money as a down payment for the $230 million facility and refurbish it to meet increasing transportation needs. Mr. Gargano says that Port Authority ownership, too, would endanger the more ambitious plan.
"There are other valuable uses for that building," Mr. Gargano says. "Better rail service is important for the economic viability of downtown Manhattan. New rail stations don't get built every day."
©2006 Crain Communications Inc.
Let's get this show on the road before the allocated funds evaporate.