New jersey Governor Phil Murphy today announced a commitment of $190 million for renovations and upgrades at historic Newark Penn Station.
The work is slated to begin immediately with $30 million in renovations and restorations, with additional upgrades scheduled over the next five years totaling $160 million. The upgrades will be funded by the State.
“Penn Station is a vital hub not just for those heading to New York City each day, but it is also a gateway to Newark and the resurgence that has taken place here over the past two decades,” said Governor Murphy. “We are thrilled to announce these renovations, which, when completed, will help restore this historic station to its former glory.”
The first phase of renovations will focus on aesthetics such as restoration of the classic benches in the waiting room, installation of brighter lighting, updating of the bathrooms, improved HVAC and air-handling, fresh paint and tile, and a deep clean of the limestone exterior to once again showcase the architecturally significant façade.
In the bus lanes, new lighting and improved drainage will improve the rider experience. And improved directional and way-finding signage will help make sense of this station’s labyrinth of platforms and hallways.
“Newark is the largest city in the state and Penn Station is a major gateway for commerce, employment, and economic development. It is good news that this administration understands the importance of this and are committed to ensuring that this critical piece of infrastructure has significant investment,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
Longer-term enhancements will focus on improving the station’s openness, light, and overall commuter and visitor experience. A future goal is to make Newark Penn Station more of a destination, with added dining and shopping in the concourse.
Newark Penn Station is the seventh busiest rail station in North America and one of the busiest stations in the region. The station is served by NJ TRANSIT commuter trains, the Newark Light Rail, the PATH, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor services. The station also serves as Newark’s main bus terminal.
Opened in 1935, Newark Penn Station is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The station was originally designed and still operates as an intermodal facility serving pedestrian, taxi, bus and private vehicle traffic generated by the more than 50,000 transit customers who use the station each day.
Onyx Equities, owner and operator of Gateway 1, 2 and 4 in the 1.6 million s/f office complex that surrounds the transit hub, has welcomed news of the station overhaul.
“Today’s announcement represents the single most critical moment in Newark’s revival as a business location in a generation,” said John Saraceno, principal of Onyx Equities. “Many companies are re-thinking their long-term plans, and the shared vision for Newark Penn Station among NJ Transit, the City of Newark, and the Murphy administration is sure to elevate Newark as a prospective location for businesses.
“With the improvements Onyx is making to our Gateway complex, nearly $200 million is being invested in Newark’s front door which is sure to stimulate even more activity in an area that already had renewed energy.”