Speaker Quinn hopes for scaled-back Moynihan redevelopment plan

By Adam Pincus | June 23, 2009 12:26PM


alternate textSpeaker Christine Quinn (center) will push harder to redevelop Farley Post Office (left) to replace Penn Station which she compared unfavorably to Union Station in D.C. (right)

City Council speaker Christine Quinn told contractors and builders at a morning breakfast today that the Moynihan Station planners need to consider smaller or staggered plans, despite the fact that Pennsylvania Station is an eyesore.

“At this point we need to come up with a plan even if it is smaller or phased in,” for the project located in her city council district, she said.

Quinn was speaking to members of the New York Building Congress at its industry breakfast forum at the Hilton New York Hotel in Midtown today.

The Moynihan Station plan envisions converting the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue and 33rd Street to a rail transit hub, part of a wider vision to transform the Penn Station area, with a new Madison Square Garden structure and office towers.

“I don’t know that it is going to happen incredibly soon,” she said, noting other large projects are also stalled. But she said a revision was necessary. “I am reminded how pathetic the entrance to the city is,” she said, each time she travels to Washington, D.C. by train and passes through the iconic Beaux-Arts Union Station in D.C.

Later, speaking to a group of reporters, she said she would act more aggressively over the next few months to move development of Moynihan Station forward.

She also said she would entertain some changes to the 421-a tax incentive program that are being pushed by the Real Estate Board of New York, but not all.

“Some we are probably not willing to do,” she said, but did not elaborate which ones.