ESDC unveils vision for Moynihan Station

ESDC plans to convert the James A. Farley Post Office complex into Moynihan Station West. Photo: Regional Plan Association.

Plan includes multiple development projects. On October 23, 2007, the Empire State Development Corporation released its draft environmental scope document for the Moynihan Station project. The project, first proposed by Senator Patrick Moynihan 15 years ago, would create a new train station within the historic James A. Farley Post Office complex, renovate the current Penn Station, relocate Madison Square Garden, and create 7.5 million sq.ft. of new commercial or mixed-use space.

Under the plan, a new train station, Moynihan Station West, would occupy a portion of the Farley complex located on the block bounded by Eighth and Ninth Avenues from West 31st to West 33rd Streets. The new station would alleviate congestion at the current Penn Station, which handles more passengers than Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports combined. The U.S. Post Office would relocate most of its operations to a building just south of the Farley complex.

The Farley complex’s western annex would house the new MSG arena. ESDC proposes to demolish the current arena and replace it with an expanded Penn Station, to be renamed Moynihan Station East, which would rise above existing rails and platforms and have high ceilings, large public areas and natural light. ESDC’s plan states that it may acquire additional property in the area to provide Moynihan Station East with a loading dock and other support facilities. The Moynihan Station East project site would also include up to 5.4 million sq.ft. of mixed-used development. Two Penn Plaza, which currently occupies a portion of the site, would remain.

One block north of Moynihan Station East, ESDC proposes up to 1 million sq.ft. of mixed-use space and up to 2 million sq.ft. of commercial space.

The plan also includes a new zoning district known as Moynihan Station Subdistrict to allow the transfer of up to 4.3 million sq.ft. of unused development rights to multiple sites in the area. ESDC calls for rezoning some underutilized property within the subdistrict to allow new development.

The scope is the first step in a public approval process per State, federal, and City land use statutes. The State Public Authorities Control Board must also approve a portion of the plan. ESDC will hold a public scoping session on December 6, 2007, and will accept written comments until December 17, 2007.

Draft Scope of Work for Expanded Moynihan/Penn Station Redevelopment Project, ESDC (Oct. 23, 2007).

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