Final Deal Inked for $1.6B Penn Station Addition

The project’s centerpiece will be the conversion of the century-old James A. Farley mail sorting room in Midtown Manhattan into the 255,000-square-foot Moynihan Train Hall.

Penn Station, Moynihan Train Hall, New York City
Penn Station, Moynihan Train Hall, New York City

The long-delayed, big-ticket project to finish converting the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building in Midtown Manhattan into an addition to Penn Station will finally be moving into its second and final phase, it was announced late last week by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development.

The $1.6 billion price tag for Phase Two of the project is being funded with $550 million from the State of New York; $105 million from Amtrak; $315 million from the MTA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and federal grants; and $630 million from the joint venture developers, the Related Cos. and Vornado Realty LP.

The third member of the developer-builder team is Skanska USA, which also built Phase One of the project, which started in 2012 and was completed earlier this month. Skanska’s share of Phase Two is approximately $1.3 billion.

Moynihan Train Hall

Moynihan Train Hall
Restaurant rendering at Moynihan Train Hall

The project’s centerpiece will be the conversion of the century-old building’s mail sorting room into the 255,000-square-foot Moynihan Train Hall. Featuring a glass roof soaring 92 feet above the floor, the train hall will serve Long Island Railroad and Amtrak passengers and increase Penn Station’s total concourse floor space by more than 50 percent. Penn Station is the nation’s busiest rail terminal.

A total of nine platforms and 17 tracks will be accessible from the Train Hall, which will also provide direct connections to the Eighth Avenue Subway and direct access to the train station from 9th Avenue for the first time.

In total, the Farley Building renovation will encompass 1.3 million square feet of transit, retail, restaurant and large-floorplate Class A office space.

The selection of Related, Vornado and Skanska to redevelop the Farley Building was made in September 2016, but it took until last week to nail down all of the particulars and reach financial close for such a major reuse project.

Scheduled to be complete by the end of 2020, the train hall is named for the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who represented New York from 1976 to 2000 and was an advocate for Penn Station expansion in the 1990s.

The Farley Building was designed by McKim, Mead and White as a sister to the original Penn Station, which was demolished in 1963 and superseded by the current Penn Station, built partially beneath Madison Square Garden.

Images courtesy of SOM