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Opinion: We Need a Real Penn Station Plan, Not a Neighborhood Replacement Scheme

(CITY LIMITS) Sam Turvey, August 1, 2022

A vibrant New York neighborhood is a terrible thing to waste, which is precisely what would happen if the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) and Gov. Kathy Hochul prevail in their ill-conceived plans to revamp Penn Station and vicinity.

It seems clear they want to demolish the block between West 31st and 30th streets and Seventh and Eighth avenues, among many other sites, so that Vornado Realty Trust can build a redwood forest of supertall towers. The goal ostensibly is to fund unspecified improvements to Penn Station itself, including its expansion underground from West 31st and 30th streets.

Fortunately, State Sen. Leroy Comrie, New York State’s Public Authorities Control Board and State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli did their parts this week and did not let this fatally flawed proposal take wing.

Read The Opposing View: The Penn Station Plan is a Job Well Done. It’s Time We Acknowledge That

The neighborhood’s only fault is is that it is not “Park Avenue.” Thousands of residents, small businesses, Capuchin Friars and irreplaceable architecture will be cast to the winds so that a plethora of supertall Class A office towers can be erected around Penn Station like a noose around the neighborhood. Empire State Development (ESD) claims this will fulfill its unilaterally derived aspirations of having Class A office towers from river to river, even though monolithic business districts following this model fail wherever they’re tried.  

Source: City Limits