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Old Posted Oct 19, 2011, 5:11 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 345
I went on a tour of the building last night. It was too dark to take good photos, but I have a couple bits of information to add:

1. The construction schedule for Phase I (the West End Concourse expansion and ventilation work) is four years from the beginning of 2012. Even though the scope of work isn't huge, they're severely limited to the times of day that they can do work (only nights and weekends) because of the volume of train traffic directly below where they'll be working. So look for the concourse to open in 2016!

2. Phase II is dependent on funding, which would largely come from the sale of the 2 million square feet of air rights to potential adjacent development. The idea is that once this funding is secured, the construction schedule would be shorter than Phase I because it would not affect the trains below. In fact, Phase II would likely run concurrently with Phase I and finish at the same time, so depending on the health of the NYC office market (which seems to be doing pretty well), you could be boarding Amtrak trains from the new hall also in 2016.

3. We also talked about the MSG Renovation. I've suspected that MSG is doing a phased renovation now because they want to keep their options open in case the Barclays Center really starts to cut into their business in 2012 and MSG decides that it in fact needs a new facility. The guy from the Moynihan Station Redevepment Corporation shot down my theory, though. He believes that MSG will be staying put at least for the foreseeable future (10 years or so). He also mentioned something that I hadn't known but found interesting: MSG will not be renovating the exterior of their building because to do so would lose them their property tax abatement. Not sure on the specifics, but that abatement is substantial (I think they pay no property taxes per se and only make negotiated "payments in lieu of taxes", or PILOTs, to the city). Too bad since the exterior is the worst thing about that building.

And one final note: I think the general public and some people who read about this project on this thread are still under the impression that this is a new train station independent of Penn Station. (A woman on the tour asked if Penn Station would close down when Moynihan Station opened!) This is not a new station. The station is where the trains stop and the tracks and platforms will be where they have always been. What's called Moynihan Station is just a new entrance to Penn Station with greatly improved passenger facilities.
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