Empire State Building-Sized Tower Could Be Built Atop Penn Station

A project to improve one of New York City's most highly-trafficked transit hubs would include the construction of another skyscraper nearly equal the size of the Empire State Building, called PENN 15, at the corner of 7th Avenue and 33rd Street.

The Empire Station Complex plan would build upon Penn Station and the recently reopened Moynihan Train Hall," NBC New York reports.

Governor Andrew Cuomo first announced the project in January during his week-long State of the State address, referring to it as a "21st century transit complex on Manhattan's West Side."

The Penn Station project is reportedly tied to a $1.3 billion appropriation deal in the proposed state budget, which is still being negotiated by the governor and the state Legislature, and revenue generated by a massive real estate deal in the neighborhood.

The MTA, Amtrak and NJ Transit hope to increase platform capacity at Penn Station by approximately 40 percent with the redesign.

The governor's plan also includes 10 large buildings on blocks near Penn Station, which would be completed by 2038.

Those buildings would include office space, hotels and possible residential units. All would connect back to Penn Station, per the General Project Plan submitted by the state.

Developers say PENN 15 itself "will become the new standard for office design in the city," allowing for "flexible office configurations and terraces on every fourth floor to maximize access to light and air."

Opponents of the Empire State Complex project are concerned about a lack of transparency and inadequate time to review the plans. While legislators mostly support a plan to make improvements to Penn Station and the surrounding area they said in a March 26 letter to the governor that they need more time to have a "clear understanding" of the plans.

The Empire State Development Corporation has scheduled a public hearing on the project for May 12.

Photo: Getty Images

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