By Steven Spinola
The transformation of the Farley Post Office into the Moynihan Station is as well-known as the overcrowding at Penn Station.
However, few people know about the actual work that is being performed and how that work and the creation of the Moynihan Station will improve transportation for the passengers that travel through Penn Station every day.
When Penn Station was re-built in the early 1960s, it was designed to handle up to between 200,000 and 300,000 people daily. Today it is serving twice that amount.
The station lacks the vertical circulation, the number of entrances and exits and the amount of concourse space to address the growth we have seen in rail transportation in the last fifty years.
Moynihan Station is designed to address the overcrowding that the passengers experience daily at Penn and aid economic growth in the future.
Phase 1 of Moynihan Station is under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2016.
Phase 1 will double the length and width of the western concourse to 450 feet by 40 feet, provide two new entrances through the historic Farley Building into Penn Station, include seven new elevators down to the train platforms and improve and make ADA accessible the connection under Eighth Avenue to Penn Station.
This will significantly improve access for Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak passengers heading to or from points west of Eighth Avenue and the Eighth Avenue subway lines.
Penn Station is located on top of the eastern two thirds of the platforms that serve the trains and, as a result, does not take full advantage of the western third of the platforms to enable passengers to get on and off trains as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Most platforms do not provide access to the west end concourse and many passengers on those platforms have to walk east to get out of the station even if they are heading west.
Moynihan Station will address this problem by expanding Penn Station’s footprint to the west, and access to the west will become increasingly important as development proceeds on the West Side rail yards and other development sites in the Hudson Yards area.
Phase 2 of Moynihan Station will include a large train hall in the Farley Building and Amtrak will relocate its operations from Penn Station to Moynihan Station when Phase 2 is fully funded and completed.
At that point, Moynihan Station will provide a 30 percent increase in pedestrian concourse space at Penn Station, 28 new stairs, escalators and elevators, and six new station entrances west of Eighth Avenue. Passengers will have direct access from the train platforms through the Farley building to Ninth Avenue.
By the time the Hudson Yards area is fully developed, Moynihan Station will truly be a gateway to the west for the 25 percent of ticketed Penn Station rail passenger heading to points west.
Moynihan Station is also the critical first step to any significant improvements to Penn Station.
When Amtrak moves its operations into the Farley Building, the space Amtrak vacates at Penn Station will become the swing space needed to rethink and redesign Penn Station.
Unless a significant amount of space is freed up, Penn Station is simply too crowded to undergo major improvements while continuing in operation.
Our city is constantly growing, and we must do all that we can to keep up with this growth.
The Moynihan Station project presents a great chance to address our needs and its completion will introduce an important and needed enhancement to our transportation network.
In other REBNY news:
On May 29, REBNY is holding its 11th Annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast at the Hilton NY in the Grand Ballroom. Coffee will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and the program will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more information contact Cindy Ramotar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 6 is the Residential Brokerage Division’s Downtown Roundtable, a discussion seminar where participants will spend approximately 20 minutes at a table before moving on to the next subject’s table. Registration is required, and for more information contact Yesenia Perez at email@example.com.
June 9 is the annual REBNY Spring Golf & Tennis Outing at the North Shore Country Club in Glen Head, a fun-filled day during which attendees will be able to network with each other and have a good time. Golf is $425, tennis is $315 and includes singles and doubles brunch, all-day is $225, dinner-only is $150, and a swimming pool is available to all. Each package includes cocktails and dinner, and sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Kathleen Gibbs at 212-616-5246, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 10 is the Real Estate Weekly Young Leaders’ Forum at National Bohemian Hall. Join over 350 real estate players for an annual summit highlighting the emerging players in real estate and finance. The forum is from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and more information can be found at www.rewyoungleadersforum.com.
June 10 is the Residential Brokerage Annual Owner/Manager Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m at the New York Athletic Club at 180 Central Park South. The event is for REBNY members only and $35 per person, and for more information contact Indi Jaipal at email@example.com.
On June 10, the winners of the Retail Deal of the Year 2013 Awards will be announced at a cocktail party hosted by the Retail Committee. For more information, contact Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at JTaylor@rebny.com.