Doesn’t it seem like we can blog about Cuomo’s proposals every week this month? The law firm of Sanchez & Polovetsky, PLLC is based in NYC, so anything New York City related captures our attention. We’ve been hearing lots of news about the expansion of the High Line, and the final authorization of a $1.3 billion loan to fund the “Empire State Complex”-which would update the railway hub for transportation use only.
For a while now, the Penn Station/Madison Square Garden neighborhood was being referred to as a “blighted slum,” and there was serious talk about redeveloping the area by building super tall skyscrapers in place of the current buildings. Cuomo was adamant that such plans be included in the final State budget.
Unfortunately for the Governor, the original redevelopment plans (which included the construction of 10 new skyscrapers) have been trimmed, including for “PENN 15,” the super tall tower that would’ve been comparable in size to the Empire State Building.
Instead of new office towers, money in the approved budget is going to be “used in furtherance of [expanding Penn Station] or other transportation improvement projects and not for above-grade development.”
State legislators opposed to Cuomo’s above-ground vision made sure that the budget limited the redevelopment plans. The approved plans only allow a Penn Station remodel and the expansion of track capacity.
Prior to the most recent news about the State budget, Cuomo had also proposed another extension for the High Line-that would run from 34th Street and 12th Avenue past the Javits Center and cross the West End Highway, ending at Pier 76 and Hudson River Park. Currently, the property is a tow pound run by the NYPD that was scheduled to be vacated by the end of January 2021, with plans to make it into a public park.
The purpose of the High Line expansion is to create more public space and address community concerns about pedestrian access to the west side of Manhattan. Anyone coming in and out of the area around Penn Station knows that there is a lot of traffic and congestion that continues on to Hudson Yards. The cost of the project is estimated at $60 million, which will come from a combination of private and public funds.
We anticipate that more redevelopment news will come our way soon, as NYC is poised for a comeback. Stay tuned!