Rechler: Not so fast on Port Authority Bus Terminal renovation

RXR head says get commuters onto mass transit before they reach Manhattan
December 30, 2015 10:37AM

Scott Rechler thinks planners need to slow down and take another look at the Port Authority Bus Terminal redesign.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board member and head of RXR Realty said politics, not sound planning, are currently pushing the planned project forward.

“When you’re talking about a $10 billion project, you really need to make sure it’s well thought out,” Rechler told Politico. “And the projects that haven’t been successful, the projects that have gone over-budget, are the projects that [were] done because it was politically valuable to move them forward before the planning was done.”

The developer suggested a different approach: corral commuters into the mass transit system before they cross the river into Manhattan. He proposed the construction of a new bus terminal on the New Jersey side of the river, which would allow passengers to reach NJ Transit via the planned Gateway tunnel under the Hudson River, Politico reported.

The Port Authority voted in November to hold an international design competition for the planned terminal, which will rise at 625 Eighth Avenue in Midtown, one block from the current site.

The agency plans to sell air rights at the current terminal’s location, 2.3 million square feet according to public records. It has estimated that revenues from that sale could pay for up to two thirds of the $10 billion required for the renovation. [Politico]Ariel Stulberg