New York has big plans for Penn Station, Javits Center

A rendering of the new Penn Station train hall.

New York’s governor has unveiled proposals to renovate and modernize Pennsylvania Station, the busiest transit station in the nation, and to significantly expand and upgrade the city’s main convention center.

Speaking at Madison Square Garden, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $3 billion plan to make Penn Station and the adjacent James A. Farley Post Office into a "world-class transportation hub” with "first-class amenities, natural light, increased train capacity and decreased congestion, and improved signage to dramatically enhance the travel experience.”

The plan is to break ground this year and complete substantial construction within the next three years. 

Cuomo’s proposal says that the station is designed to accommodate 200,000 daily passengers, but in practice, as the busiest train station in North America, it serves more than 650,000 passengers every day, and is "plagued by widespread pedestrian congestion and outdated facilities.”

“Penn Station is the heart of New York’s economy and transportation network, but it has been outdated, overcrowded and unworthy of the Empire State for far too long,” Cuomo stated. “We want to build Penn Station to be better than it ever was, and that is exactly what we are going to do.”

Cuomo also announced a $1 billion expansion of the Javits Center, giving it 1.2 million more feet of event space, including a 60,000 square foot ballroom. In addition, 500,000 square feet of the exhibition space will be contiguous on one level, which NYC & Company, the city's tourism-marketing organization, calls an industry distinction.

“This robust plan to add more convention and meetings space capacity is welcoming news for the more than 6 million meetings delegates that convene in New York City each year,”  stated Fred Dixon, CEO of NYC & Company. "This addition will ensure NYC continues to lead in the convention and exhibition industry."

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