It's been a month now since the five finalists for the Port Authority Bus Terminal redesign competition were unveiled, but the head juror for that very design competition has now suggested to the heads of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that they consider building something new on top of the existing structure, the Commercial Observer reports.
The jury of eight comprises of urban planning experts, and the head juror, Martin Wachs, told Port Authority officials at a recent monthly meeting that it should look to remain in its current location. Through this proposed plan, the top floors of this new building would be built on top of the existing structure first, and then as the construction moves down, the top of the existing building would be demolished for the new structure (that sounds extremely complicated!).
The finalists for the design competition all submitted plans for a building at a new site just west of the existing location, and cost estimates on that ran anywhere between $3.7 bill to $15.3 billion. Wachs did not elaborate on how much he thought building on the current site would cost, but previous estimates have put it at between $5 billion and $10 billion—so it certainly doesn't look like it's financially beneficial to build on the existing site.
"When looking at the complexity of the other choices, it seems at least worthy of consideration," Wachs told the Commercial Observer. One of the design competition finalists, AECOM, wanted to build the entire terminal underground (the priciest proposal) and the jury seemed to be on board with that, according to the Commercial Observer.
After sustained backlash from Hell's Kitchen residents, particularly after the design competition was unveiled last year, the Port Authority dialed back its approach and has now opened up the process to community input. So while the design competition finalists are a place to start, the Port Authority may still go with something entirely different in the end, based on community input.
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