The board of the state’s development agency Friday voted to approve modified plans to the proposal to expand Penn Station into the Farley Post Office across Eighth Avenue, a project known as Moynihan Station after its greatest backer, Senator Daniel Moynihan.
The vote is one of a set of actions kicked off by an $83 million stimulus grant the state received last month, in large part due to considerable pressure from Senator Schumer. The project has languished for nearly two decades, and very well may continue to languish for years as the state’s budget for the imagined grand new train hall is hundreds of millions of dollars short.
But for the first time ever, it actually appears construction will begin on the project, as state officials last year adopted a more measured strategy to do $267 million in below-grade infrastructure work as part of a first phase, separating it from a second phase, which would include the train hall. The new approach was key to giving the project a path toward construction, as was a revived, and ultimately successful, effort to have Amtrak agree to move its operations to the Farley building.
Then again, $267 million is a lot to be spending on a couple new entrances and a concourse extension—investments that seem justified only if the second phase is ever built.
The approval kicks off a 30-day public comment period, and then it would need approval from the Public Authorities Control Board, which is controlled by the legislative leaders and the governor.