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MTA Not Banking On Federal Grant For Penn Station Revamp

(COMMERCIAL OBSERVER)  MARK HALLUM, March 11, 2022

A new potential revenue source to rebuild Pennsylvania Station has activists questioning why the state is still seeking funding from the real estate industry for the project, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority isn’t changing course. 

Opponents of the redevelopment plan for Penn Station — which includes an element that gives  Vornado Realty Trust the right to build office towers whose revenue would help fund the renovations — were given some hope this week by a federal program that could potentially fund up to 80 percent of the MTA’s renovations.

Notice of Funding Opportunity through the Federal Railroad Administrationcould eliminate the need for $16 billion through Vornado’s development around the transit hub, a plan known as the Empire Station Complex, if the grant gets awarded to the MTA, according to activists.

But the MTA said that, even if it seeks funding, it will keep moving forward with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s current plan for the redevelopment of the Penn District, adding that the private funding is “critically important” for the project.

Source: Commercial Observer