New York’s Hochul Set to Scale Back Cuomo’s Ambitious Penn Station Plan
(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Kathy Hochul is preparing to scale down the state’s plan for redeveloping Pennsylvania Station and the surrounding neighborhood, a closely watched project that could reshape midtown Manhattan.
Hochul is expected to make an announcement this week on a smaller vision for the real estate and transit project, which was being shepherded by Andrew Cuomo prior to his sexual harassment scandal, according to people familiar with the matter. Hochul’s team is prioritizing plans to renovate the existing Penn Station, including relocating back-office transit workers, a move that would vastly increase public floor space, one of the people said.
Hochul has been focusing on the construction of skyscrapers north and east of the station, two of the people said. That would limit the need to seize property south of Penn through eminent domain. The governor is also planning to push the project forward without waiting for progress on Gateway, which would expand the rail link between New York and New Jersey, the people said.
Representatives for Hochul didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Vornado Realty Trust, a major New York landlord, owns much of the land that is being targeted for development. Cuomo’s plan drew criticism from lawmakers and local observers who painted it as an effort by a power-hungry governor to usurp the authority of city officials in a move that would benefit powerful real estate interests.
The governor has already put another project championed by her predecessor on hold, pausing work on a rail connection to LaGuardia Airport. Hochul, who took over when Cuomo resigned earlier this year, is facing an increasingly crowded Democratic primary field as she seeks a full term in office.
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