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Penn Station Overhaul Is Now One Step Closer to Happening

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Just a couple of weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to transform Penn Station and the James A. Farley Post Office (to the tune of $3 billion), the Empire State Development Corporation has released a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the site, now called Empire Station Complex. The RFP outlines the project sponsors (which include the ESD, along with Cuomo, the MTA, and Amtrak) plans to create an "iconic new passenger rail complex and mixed-use destination in the heart of New York City."

Per the RFP, "the status quo at Penn Station is no longer adequate to meet the needs of today's passenger" (that's the understatement of the decade), and so the project sponsors have set out a number of proposed updates to the complex. The 65-page document (available here, in PDF form) goes into extremely thorough detail on what the revamped train depot could look like, with different sections for overhauls of Penn Station and the Farley Post Office (now called the Moynihan Train Hall). Here's some of what that will entail:

· The Penn Station plans call for the creation of a "grand entrance" along Eighth Avenue, which would mean demolishing the Theater at MSG and adding retail to the entrance area. (The RFP is using Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's renderings for the additions and improvements.)
· Connecting the complex to Penn Station South and the infrastructure proposed as part of the Gateway Program, as seen in the map above.
· Another "grand entrance" along Seventh Avenue could also be part of the plan.
· The station itself would be opened up, with new skylights, along with an improved configuration for passengers on the upper and lower levels of Penn Station.
· The two terminals would be linked via a concourse, which is currently under construction beneath the Farley Post Office.
· The Moynihan Train Hall will have 210,000 square feet of space, including "primary facilities for LIRR commuters," including ticket booths, waiting areas, and other amenities.
· The revamped hall could also be home to office spaces and even a hotel, along with services for AirTrain and Amtrak commuters (including ticket booths and a waiting area).

And that's just a small portion of what's potentially to come. According to the Real Deal, Related Companies, which has been attached to the project for several years, will be submitting a proposal; Vornado Realty Trust, which was also working on the development, declined to comment. TRD also reports that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which has been working on the Penn redevelopment plans since the 1960s, is still attached to the project (its renderings of the Empire Station Complex are all over the RFP), but if the developer that's ultimately chosen wants to bring in their own architect, that's a possibility.

Developers who wish to submit proposals can do so for either Penn Station, the Farley Post Office, or both; proposals are due by April 22.
· Moynihan developers don't have to choose SOM, but it will take some persuading [TRD]
· Penn Station's $3B Renovation Plans, Revealed! [Curbed]