Vornado Realty Trust, Related Companies and Skanska have finalized a deal with the state to build a $1.6 billion train hall at James A. Farley Post Office, paving the way for construction to begin.
State officials announced the deal on Friday, roughly nine months after the companies were named the preferred design-build team for the project. The Empire State Development Corp., the state agency leading the development, inked a financial agreement with the team that requires $550 million from the state, $630 million from the developers and $420 million from Amtrak, the MTA and federal funds.
The financial breakdown differs slightly from what was announced in September, increasing the developers’ cut by $30 million and decreasing the state’s by $20 million. During a conference call held on Friday, officials explained the difference as a product of financing at a better rate than what was initially expected. Additional information was not immediately available.
Representatives for Related and Vornado declined to comment beyond a press release sent out by the governor’s office. Skanska didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
The new train hall will feature 700,000 square feet of office and retail space and a 255,000-square-foot train hall for both Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road. The project is expected to be complete in 2022.
Friday’s announcement follows the opening of the train hall’s first phase, an Eighth Avenue entrance to the tracks below the post office. The news also comes as commuters brace themselves for a series of travel disruptions at Penn Station.
On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the MTA to withhold annual rent from Amtrak since trains won’t be able to use the tracks during repairs. During Friday’s conference call, a reporter noted that Amtrak officials said withholding rent would disrupt its ability to complete repairs. Cuomo responded that Amtrak should already have that money at the ready.