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Developers to press ahead with station, with or without MSG.

Moynihan Station Development Corporation (MSDC) Chairman Charles A. Gargano this week welcomed a renewed commitment from Moynihan Station developers to move quickly toward closing late September, regardless of potential Madison Square Garden move to Farley Annex.

In a joint letter to Chairman Gargano, Stephen M. Ross, chairman and CEO of the Related Companies, and Steven Roth, chairman and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, wrote: "... the functional heart of the current Moynihan Station project can be built, and will have its own independent utility, regardless of what happens with Farley's Annex, and therefore there is no reason to delay Moynihan Station in the meantime. We remain committed to closing promptly the Moynihan Station Project ..."

Gargano said: "This is good news for the Moynihan Station project. All parties are in agreement that this should move forward without further delay. I am confident the Public Authorities Control Board will quickly move to approve the project so that work can begin on the redeveloped Station that will provide New York City with an expanded, modernized and world-class transportation hub. With its elegant new design, it will be a public works project worthy of its namesake.

"As the primary gateway to our city, the new Moynihan Station will affect more New Yorkers, commuters and visitors than any other project underway or contemplated."

The Moynihan Station Project will create the new Daniel Patrick Moynihan Station and include grand new Train and Intermodal Hails for use by New Jersey Transit and Long Island Railroad commuters, among others; be physically connected to Penn Station so as to improve Penn Station circulation and capacity; create mixed-use development; and serve as the gateway to expected new development.

Moynihan Station is critical to the usefulness of an existing or new Penn Station because it provides additional commuter capacity. Even if a new Penn Station were built between 7th and 8th, the size would be circumscribed, which would limit the number of commuters that could actually fit through the space.

By accommodating anywhere from 20-33% of the commuter traffic currently forced through Penn Station's existing cramped quarters, 100,000 to 200,000 people a day can flow through Moynihan without needing to go through Penn Station.

The Project would be constructed primarily at the James A. Farley Post Office Building and its Western Annex.

Farley was constructed between 1910 and 1913 for the United States Postal Service and was designed as a companion to the original Pennsylvania Station then located across Eighth Avenue.

In 1934, the building was expanded with the creation of the Annex that stretches to Ninth Avenue. The Farley Complex was constructed directly above the then open-cut railroad tracks some 40 feet below (and, at the time, created a critical mail-rail link).

All three projects, the original Pennsylvania Station, Farley, and the Annex, were designed by the legendary New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. The Farley Complex is currently owned by the United States Postal Service, is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and is a designated New York City Landmark.

Funding for the projected $556 million Moynihan Station budget is aligned and further delay could jeopardize those funds, which in some cases have been committed, but idle, for years.

Construction on Moynihan Station is to start by the end of 2006.

It is estimated that the project will add $50 million per year more in total tax revenue for the City and State than would have been collected without the project.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 30, 2006
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