Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in partnership with NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak, approved a contract for the redesign of Penn Station to a joint venture led by FXCollaborative Architects LLP and WSP USA Inc., with the acclaimed British architect John McAslan + Partners as collaborating architect. McAslan + Partners designed the 2012 transformation of London’s historic King’s Cross Station, creating a 165-yard-long semi-circular departures concourse that integrates regional and intercity railroads with each other and with the London Underground while welcoming natural light from the sky through 1,000 glazed and translucent triangular roof panels.
“Since crews took a wrecking ball to the original Penn Station in 1963, generations of New Yorkers have been united in their call to build a new station worthy of New York,” Governor Hochul said. “By approving the contract for the redesign of Penn Station, we move another step closer to getting it done. The transformation of Penn cannot come soon enough, and we look forward to building a world-class station that puts New Yorkers first, delivers a rider-focused transit experience, and a great neighborhood they deserve.”
The FXCollaborative and WSP joint venture developed the Penn Station Master Plan unveiled last year that evaluated alternatives and created the preferred redesign plan for Penn Station as a single-level facility centered around a grand train hall with a 450-foot long sky-lit atrium between Madison Square Garden and 2 Penn Plaza. The design called for by the MTA’s contract will advance that preferred alternative and will:
- Relieve overcrowding and improve passenger flow and orientation
- Improve safety by increasing platform and station egress and accessibility
- Alleviate the cramped, disjointed circulation areas with widened concourses and high ceilings
- Create a clear street presence that integrates with the surroundings
- Optimize retail and other revenue generation
- Integrate Penn Station with Moynihan Train Hall and the planned Penn Station Expansion
Janno Lieber, MTA Chair and CEO said, “Awarding the design contract is a huge step forward in Governor Hochul’s effort to make Penn Station – once again! – a safe, world-class transit facility. The work will take place on an aggressive timetable. The opening of Grand Central Madison in just a few months provides us with a once-a-century opportunity to rebuild Penn Station. With a sizeable percentage of LIRR riders expected to shift their trips to Grand Central Madison, Penn Station will have five years with lower customer volumes before a new influx of customers arrives on Metro-North Railroad by 2027. The MTA wants to get most disruptive the work done before then, so I’m thrilled we are moving forward quickly with the design phase of this massive, long-delayed effort.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The long overdue revitalization of Penn Station will be a forceful catalyst for new investments and development within the community around it, benefitting residents, commuters, and visitors. As the nation’s busiest transit hub, our region’s economic future relies on Penn, and choosing a team to redesign the station is another significant milestone towards achieving Governor Hochul’s vision for improving both Penn and the public realm that surrounds it.”
Jamie Torres-Springer, President of MTA Construction & Development, said, “We are excited to recommend a team that has a track record of designing projects that achieve world-class design excellence while improving safety and being constructible, our singular focus as we seek to finally give Penn Station’s 600,000 daily riders the station they deserve.”
Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia said, “This step brings Amtrak passengers, New York and New Jersey commuters, and local residents closer to a new Penn Station for the 21st Century. Building upon the ongoing improvements already underway at Penn, this design effort will help the three railroads develop a common, realistic, and achievable plan for reconstructing Penn Station while ensuring continued train operations and complete coordination with the Gateway Program investments. We thank Governors Hochul and Murphy for their leadership and partnership and look forward to further collaboration as we transform New York Penn Station into a world-class, state-of-the-art train station.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “The time to fix Penn Station is now, and this is an important step in the right direction. New York City deserves a 21st-century transit hub as great as the city, and we are taking advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reconstruct Penn Station and revitalize the neighborhood. Our administration will continue working closely with our state partners to ‘Get Stuff Done.'”
The recommendation for the design joint venture follows an open, competitive request-for-proposals process that was widely advertised and sent to 106 prequalified firms and attracted five proposals from firms and joint ventures that were reviewed and scored by representatives from MTA Construction & Development, Amtrak, and NJ TRANSIT, and assisted by a Technical Advisory Committee with additional representatives from the Long Island Rail Road, Empire State Development and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
The base contract of up to $57.9 million would develop the preliminary station design and would last for one year. This contract includes options covering preliminary design for improvements to nearby subway stations and design and engineering support as the station reconstruction moves forward.
In keeping with the MTA’s aggressive nation-leading program to encourage the growth and development of certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), the MTA’s Department of Diversity and Civil Rights has assigned a 22.5 percent DBE goal to the contract.