Governor Cuomo announced that New York state will take the lead on expanding Penn Station by acquiring an entire block in Manhattan to add eight new tracks. The proposed expansion would increase the capacity for trains using the hub by 40% and accommodate an additional 175,000 daily passengers. Empire State Development, the state’s economic development authority, has the power to use eminent domain and bypass the local zoning process.
- Real Estate Angle: Cuomo said the state would acquire the block south of the current station, from Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue between West 30th and West 31st streets. State officials and some real-estate owners on the block have reportedly been in talks about the acquisition of the properties. The governor didn’t give a price tag, but the project is estimated to cost at least $8 billion.
- Timing: The proposal comes as another expansion of the station into the adjoining Farley post office building nears completion later this year. Cuomo said the state was moving ahead with the “Penn South station” expansion on its own and isn’t contingent on the Gateway project, which has been held up on the federal level. The planning process will take 2 and a half years, according to the WSJ.