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Bus terminal plans are back in top gear.

The Port Authority will redevelop its world-famous midtown bus terminal to improve its long-term future and ability to handle the region's growing mass transit needs, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners announced this week.

The agency's sweeping strategy includes the resumption of negotiations with a prominent New York City development team for the air rights above the bus terminal to generate future revenue and funding sources needed to support the bus terminal upgrades.

The proposed air rights development would add approximately 1.3 million square feet of office space above the terminal's north wing, resulting in the renovation of approximately 55,000 s/f of bus terminal retail and an enhanced pedestrian and bus passenger circulation system.

The agency's strategy also includes the potential construction of a new bus parking garage and a study to explore the possible long-term future relocation of the bus terminal.

At its monthly meeting, the Board authorized exclusive negotiations for the next six months with 20X Square, a joint venture of Vornado Realty Trust and Lawrence Ruben Co., for air rights over the existing bus terminal's north wing. The two real estate firms were designated in 2000 as the developers of the bus terminal's air rights, but plans stalled in 2003. If an agreement is not reached in six months, an RFP to develop the air rights over the bus terminal may be issued. The Board also agreed to retain a consultant to review the physical improvements and critical building systems of the bus terminal to assess the facility's future investment needs for efficient operations as well as preliminary engineering to advance the possible construction of a bus parking garage on Port Authority property near the bus terminal and the Lincoln Tunnel.

Preliminary engineering for the construction of 26 new bus gates was authorized and a consultant also retained to explore long-range options for alternative sites for the bus terminal and potential real estate development options on Port Authority property.

The studies exploring various aspects of the bus terminal are expected to take up to two years.
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Comment:Bus terminal plans are back in top gear.(CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN: SECTION B)
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 2, 2007
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