The Real Deal featured an article that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation leaves an air of uncertainty hanging over several large scale projects significant to the real estate industry.
Earlier in the year, the Governor outlined a $306 billion dollar infrastructure spending plan that involved an array of projects across New York. The article focused on three key projects.
Empire State Complex
The plan called for a $1.3 billion dollar redevelopment and expansion of Pennsylvania Station as well as development of some 20 million square feet of mostly office space around the transit hub. The State will have to acquire more than $1 billion dollars-worth of buildings through eminent domain for the southward expansion of Penn Station.
Air Train LaGuardia
Cuomo’s’ proposal to build a 1.5-mile rail connection from the far end of the 7 Train in Queens to LaGuardia Airport is almost universally seen as less than ideal, but given the alternatives, it has support from business interests.
Many transit advocates argued that extending the N Train in Astoria would provide a more efficient route to the airport than Cuomo’s plan. But local opposition had shot down that idea in the past, and Cuomo managed to push the AirTrain plan down the field.
But his resignation opens the door to opponents to rally support for what they see as the better solution.
“Have already been hearing that some within the Port Authority want the agency to take a Cuomo-free look at the LGA AirTrain with a clear set for eyes,” the transit blog Second Avenue Subway Sagas tweeted Tuesday. “It’s a tall [mountain] to climb, but there may be an opening to do this right.”
Port Authority Bus Terminal
The Port Authority Bus Terminal has outlasted another governor.
Cuomo supported the Port Authority’s plan to redevelop its much-maligned Midtown West bus terminal into a new 2 million-square-foot facility. (No Port Authority projects of any significance happen in New York without the governor’s backing.)
“We will completely redevelop the terminal, adding space for commercial development, dramatically improving the commuting experience, removing bus traffic and pollution from the surrounding community,” Cuomo said in a speech.
The plan includes the sale of air rights that could be used for four new towers around the terminal. Two previous governors, George Pataki and Eliot Spitzer, had endorsed plans to fund a renovation of the terminal by selling air rights to build a tower above it.
But those plans never materialized and now, with the Port Authority’s capital budget still short of funds for the newest iteration, it falls to Governor Hochul to get the complicated project moving.
It must be noted that all these projects were planned before the Federal Government adopted the Infrastructure Bill. There is no question that there is money for all these projects and more.