Governor Hochul Announces Additional Commitments to Strengthen Penn Station Area Vision in Letter to Local Elected Officials
Governor Kathy Hochul announced additional commitments to create more affordable and supportive housing, provide social services, and jump-start public realm improvements in the area surrounding Penn Station in a letter to local and state elected officials. The new commitments allow for the potential construction of up 708 permanently affordable and supportive housing units, memorialize a $50 million upfront financial commitment for the recently announced Penn Station Area Public Realm Fund, to be overseen by a new City-State governance entity, and dedicate additional homeless and social services to the Penn Station area. The letter is available here.
“This plan to reimagine Penn Station will not only deliver a modern, state-of-the-art train station to New York commuters; it will transform the surrounding neighborhood into a vibrant, accessible live-work community,” Governor Hochul said. “I thank all the elected officials, community members, and local stakeholders for their engagement throughout this process and for providing valuable feedback to ensure that our plan to fix Penn is a plan for all New Yorkers.”
These additional commitments come after more than two years of ongoing community meetings held by ESD and a year of public comment to solicit neighborhood and stakeholder input and recommendations. The additions to ESD’s comprehensive proposal are a direct response to public feedback received following Governor Hochul’s proposal to create a new commuter-first, world-class transit hub that also revitalizes the surrounding neighborhood released last fall.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Revitalizing Penn Station and the surrounding area is an important investment not only for commuters and the local community, but also in New York’s continued economic vibrancy. Together with our colleagues across government, these benefits demonstrate our long-term commitment and comprehensive vision for the overdue transformation of this critical transit hub and business district.”
The additions to the broader vision for the Penn Station Area, which go beyond the requirements approved by ESD’s directors last week, reaffirm Governor Hochul’s commitment to providing quality affordable housing, improving and increasing public space, ensuring coordination among all levels of government, and supporting vulnerable New Yorkers as part of her plan to fix Penn Station. The Governor’s broader plan includes 60 additional supportive housing units in Community District 4, meaning that the project could yield up to 708 units of affordable and supportive housing overall. It also commits $50 million of the first project-generated revenues to the Penn Station Area Public Realm Fund to support improvements to streets, sidewalks, and open space near Penn Station. Last week, Governor Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that a joint city-state development corporation would oversee public realm improvements in coordination with the Public Realm Task Force.
The Governor is also committing to new investments in social services for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Penn Station area. Those investments will support the exploration of an additional homeless drop-in center, a dedicated team of trained mental health practitioners to the subway system around Penn Station through the state’s Safe Options Support (SOS) program, and additional teams comprised of peers and outreach staff to target specialized populations including individuals with substance use disorders.
Last November, Governor Hochul unveiled her vision for a new commuter-first world-class Penn Station and revitalized surrounding neighborhood that reflects the community’s needs and focuses on public transit and public realm improvements. The plan prioritizes the reconstruction of the existing station while the station expansion and the Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project — both of which the Governor strongly supports — continue to advance.
In June, Governor Hochul announced that the Penn Station Reconstruction project had entered the design phase and launched a request for proposals for the design of the new Penn Station. Awards are expected to be announced in the fall.