Apr 27, 2014

Post Office Air Rights to Fund Penn Station Expansion

The Farley Post Office photo courtesy of ©Mitchell Hall
New York state officials are moving forward with a plan that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars toward funding a long-sought but stalled plan to expand Pennsylvania Station into the 1912 Farley Post office building across Eighth Avenue.

While the expansion has been planned for 20 years there have been numerous setbacks.

Recently NY state agency Empire State Development Corp posted on it's website a request seeking proposals from a broker to market the 1.5 million square feet of air rights above the post office, and then using the profits to fund the Penn Station expansion.

The plan foresees the sale generating hundreds of millions of dollars that would be used to convert the post office in to an Amtrak waiting room, The Wall Street Journal reported. Under the new plan, the state would use revenue from the sales to pay down debt on the property and help pay for transforming "the Old Sorting Hall within the Farley Building into the new, sky-lit train hall comparable in size" to Grand Central Terminal.

The administrations of three governors and two mayors all committed to push ahead with the transformation, and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan made it a pet project up until his death in 2003. The project was subsequently named Moynihan Station in his honor.

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