Moynihan/Penn Station Redevelopment Project Draft Scope of Work For Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
WHEREAS, The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed creating a new Pennsylvania Station in the James A. Farley Post Office Building on 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets in an effort to upgrade the current Pennsylvania Station, improve our transportation capacity, and recreate the grandeur of the original station which was torn down in 1964; and
WHEREAS, The State Empire Development Corporation has created a subsidiary, the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, to plan, design and finance the new station; and
WHEREAS, This project will result in the creation of 7.5 million new zoning square feet for mixed use development including 1.4 million square feet at the Moynihan Station site, 2 million square feet at the 1 Penn Plaza site and 4.3 million square feet within in a new proposed Moynihan Station Special District between 29th Street and 36th Street from 5th Avenue to 9th Avenue; and
WHEREAS, There is an additional 10 million square feet of new development being proposed for the 34th Street corridor, unrelated to Moynihan Station, further increasing the density of, and pressures on the area.; and
WHEREAS, The current proposal contemplates (a) the development of an approximately 1 million square foot commercial building to be located to the east of One Penn Plaza, facing Seventh Avenue, and (b) the construction of a new building between 185,000 and 1 million square feet to the west of One Penn Plaza, requiring the demolition of the existing public plaza (created in 1961 in exchange for bonus square footage) which Community Board Five is on record opposing; and
WHEREAS, The Moynihan Station Development Corporation states in its proposed Environmental Impact Statement that the new special district would follow City Planning Commission guidelines for zoning and re-zoning in the district; and
WHEREAS, The current proposal would move Madison Square Garden (MSG) from its current site on 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Street to the western part of the James A. Farley Post Office Building and use the current MSG site for the eastern side of Moynihan Station ; and
WHEREAS, The current development plan would eliminate the only outdoor public space in the proposed Special District, currently on the corner of West 34th Street and 7th Avenue; and
WHEREAS, A Final Environmental Impact Statement on the approximately 1.4 million square foot Farley Post Office/Moynihan Station site was completed and adopted in August 2006; and
WHEREAS, By encompassing a new Pennsylvania Station, a new Madison Square Garden, the formation of a new Special District, and the creation of 7.5 million new square feet of mixed used development, this historic re-development is expected to dramatically impact and change this section of midtown Manhattan and thereby offers a rare opportunity to bring essential amenities into the District, including outdoor green public space, an amenity now widely deemed essential for quality of life; and
WHEREAS, The Moynihan Station Development Corporation is now beginning an Environmental Impact Statement on the mixed-use development to be used in the new Moynihan Station Special District and is seeking input from the community including testimony at an important public hearing being held at the Farley Building on December 6; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That Community Board 5 requests that the following items and issues be added to the scope of this Environmental Impact Statement:
Ensure that the new Moynihan Station and the special district create new and usable open, green space for the public that is, at the very least, equal to the current exterior public space that will be eliminated by this plan. The Mayor's PlaNYC 2030 recommends 1.5 acres of open space for every 1,000 residents. Community Board 5 has substantially less open space than this standard and the Moynihan/Penn Station Redevelopment Project presents an opportunity to improve this important urban condition.
Measure and respond to the impact of adding 7.5 million square feet of mixed-used development on the community's infrastructure including increased public transportation service, public schools, sidewalk widening, and sanitation needs. The Environmental Impact Statement should also mandate pedestrian-through corridors mid-block where appropriate and widening the sidewalks to support the new foot traffic in this already pedestrian-stressed area.
Assure that a significant portion of the new residential development being created by this special district be set aside for affordable housing under the 80/20 rules or other mechanisms.
Investigate the impact of the new Special District on Class B office space and ensure that the changes do not result in a net decrease. The loss of Class B office space within Community Board 5 has been a continuing concern of the Board realizing that this type of commercial office space is essential to sustain our small and growing businesses as an important part of the New York City economy.
Ensure the historic and designated elements of both the exterior and interior of the James A. Farley Post Office, a designated landmark, be preserved.
Investigate the educational needs of the area, especially considering the new residential development that is likely to occur, and build one or more new schools if it is found to be necessary in the Environmental Impact Statement. Community Board 5 has neither an elementary nor a middle school within its borders.
Study the impact of the Special District on the ¼ to ½ mile periphery of the area as required by law.
Require that some of the new development and or existing space in the Special District be set aside for cultural institutions, including theatres and dance companies, which are essential to the city's vitality, livability and economy.
Examine the impact on the environment and on air pollution of both the (1) development of these new, larger buildings and (2) the additional traffic generated by this proposed development, including the retail deliveries and traffic using the studies of the Time Warner Center and other locations. The scoping document discusses "green buildings" but does not address other environmental impacts of all the new development which will occur in the Special District.
Examine the impact of the Special District on retail and business areas including "Little Korea" (30th to 32nd Street from 5th to 6th Avenue) and the Garment District.