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Javits Approved; Hudson Yards Plan Moving Forward;Moynihan
Station Close; Building Congress Advocates Trans-Hudson Tunnel
The Summer of 2006 is shaping up as a pivotal period in the effort to spur redevelopment of Hudson Yards on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan. As City agencies move forward with implementation of the overall plan, New York State has authorized the long-awaited expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Meanwhile, the Pataki administration is in the final stages of the approval process for the creation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan Station from within the James Farley Post Office on 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets. In addition, the Building Congress has joined the effort to create a new Trans-Hudson tunnel.
Hudson Yards Development
The overall Hudson Yards project, a set of initiatives that will transform the far west side of Manhattan into a vibrant, mixed-used commercial and residential district, is gathering steam.The overall plan, approved last year, calls for: 24 million square feet of office space; 13,500 new units of housing; one million square feet of retail; one million square feet of hotel space; and more than 20 acres of new parks and public open space. A central component of the plan is the extension of the #7 subway line to W. 34th Street and 11th Avenue.
The Hudson Yards Development Corporation (HYDC), created in 2005 to implement the Hudson Yards project, is currently collaborating with several State and City agencies on various components of the project, including the MTA on the #7 subway line, the Department of City Planning on land use and zoning matters, the New York City Law Department on property acquisition and the Convention Center Development and Operating Corporation on the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
The design and construction costs of the Hudson Yards project are anticipated
to total $3 billion, and will be financed by the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corporation (HYIC), another development corporation created by the City.
HYIC is expected to begin issuing bonds as early as this summer.
Javits Convention Center
The plan to upgrade, expand and modernize the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center into a 21st century convention destination cleared the final hurdle on July 26, when the Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) in Albany voted to approve the project. The approval paves the way to begin construction this fall and to welcome the first wave of new business in 2010.
The unanimous vote is a major victory for the building industry. Building Congress members and staff have been vocal supporters of the expansion plan, which will increase meeting and exhibition space to more than 1.3 million square feet; generate nearly $50 million in additional annual revenues for the City and State; and introduce state-of-the-art technologies.
The Building Congress, in conjunction with the Association for a Better New York, NYC & Co., and the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, recently held
a briefing on the project to rally business, civic, industry and labor support.The Building Congress also provided key testimony; co-sponsored pro-Javits Center literature; and kept members updated on developments via its (e)Update newsletter.
“The plan for the Javits Center's expansion has been 10 years in the making, but never has the adage of ‘better late than never’ been more appropriate. New Yorkers have good reason to be proud of their State leadership today,” said Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson.
Another long-awaited project – creation of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Station from within the current Farley Post Office – requires final approval by the Empire State Development Corporation and PACB. The plan calls for a grand, new train station to be used by New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road commuters. The Station would connect to Penn Station across the street. The expectation is that the Station, which would incorporate a dynamic mixed-use development and the landmark façade of the Farley building, would serve as a fitting gateway to the Hudson Yards redeveloment.
According to a briefing attended by Building Congress members, the project may grow in scope if the City and State move forward with a proposal put forth by the Station’s private developers. The augmented plan calls for moving Madison Square Garden from its current home over Penn Station to a location just west of the Farley building.
The move would allow for the creation of a glass and light-filled intermodal transportation hub to complement Moynihan Station to the west. The relocation of the arena would also allow for the construction of modern towers offering a mix of office, retail, hotel and residential uses, and would provide for a reconceived 33rd Street that would better connect the Times Square area with the planned Hudson Yards development.
“The Building Congress believes this larger development plan makes sense conceptually and presents a golden opportunity for New York to set its sights high, “ said Building Congress Chairman Dominick M. Servedio. “It merits serious consideration and should be fully explored by New York City and State officials, as long as the transportation elements of the plan are not delayed.”
With New Jersey Alliance for Action, the Building Congress is preparing, for summer release, a brochure on the regional benefits of a new Trans-Hudson Express passenger rail tunnel (THE Tunnel).
The $6 billion project would include a modern two-track tunnel under the Hudson River and a new rail terminal under 34th Street, adjacent to the current Penn Station. The project also features new track capacity on the Northeast Corridor and the possibility of a one-seat ride to Manhattan for residents in several New Jersey counties.
THE Tunnel recognizes that residents and businesses throughout the region are increasingly interdependent,” said Anderson. “This project is vital to the economic competitiveness of New York City, and the entire region. According to estimates, it would create 6,000 new construction jobs, $10 billion in gross regional product and $4 billion in personal income, all while removing 35,000 cars from our roads and accommodating planned business growth
in Midtown Manhattan.”
Preliminary engineering is underway and construction could begin by 2009 with completion in 2016. Funding sources have not yet been dedicated, but such a massive public project with benefits for an entire region could draw financing from a mix of New Jersey, New York State, Port Authority and federal sources.