Governor Andrew Cuomo’s request for $ 1.3 billion in funding for Penn Station is approved, but not without major restrictions.
The draft budget, which was introduced on Tuesday, states that the money can be used for “projects to improve transport”, but not for “above-standard development,” according to the New York Daily News.
Lawmakers effectively curbed plans for 10 massive towers, including one super-high known as “PENN 15”, which local activists opposed and were considered too developer-friendly by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The Vornado Realty Trust is the predominant landowner around the station, but there are many more.
Critics say Cuom’s plan would avoid the land use process in the city. Senator Brad Hoylman, whose district covers most of the project, voted against the bill.
“We have not seen any master plan for Penn Station, including the full range of proposed transit improvements and how and if they depend on property developments,” he said before the vote. “Before we sign the check, I think we should see the plans.”
Cuomo also proposed transforming “Midtown West” from 51 acres to $ 51 billion. It includes the expansion of Penn Station and Javits Center, the redevelopment of the Port Authority bus terminal and the new housing.
These plans are overseen by the economic development arm of the state and have similarly met with opposition from local lawmakers and residents.
[Daily News] – Sasha Jones