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Sen. Schumer Proposes Next Steps for Moynihan Station


In an editorial in today’s New York Post, Senator Schumer says that “the next best steps to prepare New York to maintain its preeminence are to overhaul Penn Station and construct a grand Moynihan Station, spurring a Grand Central-like district with 8 million new square feet of office space.”

So how do we develop the Penn Station district, given all the recent setbacks and pall of doubt that has descended on big-development projects? I believe there are four steps we must take.

* First, project management should be given to the Port Authority. A lack of expertise and money has been the bane of this project, and the Port Authority has both of these in abundance. The agency should use New York's $2 billion share of Port Authority money to make it happen.

* Second, even if Madison Square Garden doesn't move, we can drastically improve Penn Station by relocating 200,000 square feet of Amtrak and NJ Transit operations offsite. Further, MSG has said it would be willing to move the WaMu Theater, which would bring daylight into the train station.

* Third, the money to achieve Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's vision of transforming the Farley Post Office into a magnificent train station is there. One last step, government approval, is needed to move forward. So let's start building.

* Fourth, we should move ahead with creating a special Penn Station zoning subdistrict, allowing for more building and giving more development rights to those who make a contribution to the transportation infrastructure. Additionally, Amtrak and NJ Transit should leverage their real-estate holdings to create new commercial buildings.

Let me be clear: We should develop the Penn Station area and the Far West Side, not one or the other. But the key to developing 10th and 11th avenues in the 30s and 40s is kick-starting Penn Station development; a new transit hub is vital to support and sustain the major development we all hope to achieve in the Penn Station area and beyond. As it's unlikely that we'll see commercial development on the Far West Side for several years until the new No. 7 line is operational, we need to get the Penn area moving first.

Read “Go West, NYC,” by Sen. Charles Schumer for The New York Post