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A new vision for Penn Station, subway shopping gets upscale, and more

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Three things you need to know today

Rendering by jeff stikeman architectural art

Welcome to Curbed Cuts, a tri-weekly digest connecting the dots between shelter, structure, parks, transportation, and more.

A new plan for Penn Station?

Over on Gothamist, there’s a lengthy treatise about what to do with the ailing, terrible Penn Station: According to a plan put forth by a coalition of architects, planners, and preservationists, the best way forward is to rebuild the station “in its former image”—as in, attempting to re-create the glorious McKim, Mead and White station that was razed in the 1960s.

The plan, called Rebuild Penn, is the brainchild of Richard Cameron, a designer at Atelier & Co., who told Gothamist, "There's no question that something dramatic needs to be done on that site, so why not just rebuild the old version, which everyone loved anyway.”

But, as with any ambitious architectural plan, there are hurdles to cross—in this case, one Governor Cuomo, along with the pols up in Albany. “It's amazing how defeatist their attitude is," Cameron told Gothamist. "It's entirely possible to do this, and it really is a question of someone like Cuomo deciding that this is going to be his legacy project." The whole thing is worth a read, even if it’s little more than a thought experiment.

Chinese cultural center comes to Midtown

An office building on West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues is set to be transformed into a hotel and a Chinese cultural center, The Real Deal has learned. The buyer is WanXin Media, which spent $68 million on the deal to purchase 7-15 West 44th Street. The development parcel also includes a vacant lot.

This isn’t the first time a hotel is being proposed for this site. The previous owned wanted to convert the office building into a hotel as well, and WanXin decides to use those approved plans then we will see the construction of a 19-story hotel with 96 rooms. This structure would be seven stories taller than the existing bulding. The previous owned had tapped William Green Architects to design the building and Champalimaud Design for the interiors.

Subway shopping gets a food-focused reboot

It’s been just a little over a year since the mini-shopping center at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle subway station opened, and now the creators of Turnstyle, as this market is known, have brought on food hall operator Urbanspace to revamp the market, but just a little.

Since its opening, six of the 38 shops at Turnstyle have closed, and the creators of the market have found replacements for all but one. Since food hall-style businesses are doing to well, it’s possible that Urbanspace will take Turnstyle in that direction.

For now at least, it will help manage this 27,000-square-foot facility and perhaps gradually start introducing some changes during the summer.