The Real Deal New York

De Blasio appointee on MTA board skeptical of cost for Cuomo’s Penn Station plan

The governor-appointed members are not concerned

September 29, 2016 04:12PM

Rendering of the Moynihan Train Hall (inset from top: Veronica Vanterpool and MTA's Thomas Pendergast)

Rendering of the Moynihan Train Hall (inset from top: Veronica Vanterpool and MTA’s Thomas Pendergast)

An appointee of Mayor Bill de Blasio to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board raised concerns Wednesday about the funding for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s grand plans for the new Penn Station.

Earlier this week, Cuomo named the Related Companies TRData LogoTINY and Vornado Realty Trust the developers of the project that would turn the James A. Farley Post Office into a new transportation hub. The $1.5 billion project, known as the Moynihan Train Hall, will house concourses for both Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road, and feature 112,000 square feet of retail space.

“My question is: where is this money coming from?” board member Veronica Vanterpool told the Wall Street Journal.

The MTA is responsible for around $150 million of the $1.5 billion plan and Vanterpool wondered whether the money would be taken from existing MTA projects, or if the state would allocate more funds to the agency. The agency is already stretched thin, she said.

Chairman Thomas Pendergast and former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, two Cuomo appointees to the board, didn’t share Vanterpool’s concern. Pendergast stressed the project’s importance to commuters and said the funding would be worked out down the line, the Journal reported.

Cuomo‘s proposed $3 billion redevelopment plan of both Penn Station and Moynihan Hall is slated to be funded primarily through private investment, with government funds contributing just $325 million. The Port Authority approved a $150 million contribution last week, The Real Deal reported.

Tensions between City Hall and Albany are nothing new, and rivals de Blasio and Cuomo are in a perpetual tug-a-war over policy and resources. [WSJ]Chava Gourarie