Farley Post Office's long-talked-about conversion into Moynihan Station seems like a pipe dream, but now state officials are talking about one concrete way to raise funds. The plan seems pretty simple and it goes like this: 1) find a buyer for the post office's 1.5 million square feet of air rights; 2) use the money to expand Penn Station into the post office. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Empire State Development Corporation issued an RFP last month for the post office's unused real estate development rights, which could likely be transferred within a few blocks from the post office's location on Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets, but what's murky is "how fast the state intends to proceed with the selection of a broker and marketing of development rights, nor is it clear if developers would be willing to pay a price that satisfies state officials or that would fully fund the project." Which would be hundreds of millions of dollars.
Nevertheless, in light the post office conversion's long, setback-filled historywhich has spanned two decadesthis is the first time we've seen officials take even the slightest step towards making the Penn Station expansion an unarrested development. The grand, columned post office space would be used as a waiting room for Amtrak. According to the RFP, via the WSJ: "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 document says."
· New York State Pushes for Penn Station Plan [WSJ]
· All Farley Post Office coverage [Curbed]
· All Penn Station coverage [Curbed]