Eminent domain could be used for Penn Station plans thanks to clause in state budget

Gov. Cuomo last month announced plans to acquire private real estate to expand outdated transit hub

Feb.February 03, 2020 09:00 AM
Governor Andrew Cuomo and a rendering of Penn Station (Credit: Getty Images, Governor's Office)

Governor Andrew Cuomo and a rendering of Penn Station (Credit: Getty Images, Governor’s Office)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid the groundwork for his ambitious new plan to redevelop Penn Station almost two years ago.

The governor included a clause in budget legislation that would allow the state to use eminent domain in the Penn Station neighborhood, according to the Wall Street Journal. The language said that Penn Station was “antiquated, substandard and inadequate” and needed to be modernized for the sake of public safety.

The language also instructed the state to fix these problems by starting to plan for the station and surrounding areas, which were not specified. Legal experts say the state could use this language to justify using eminent domain to carry out its plans.

Cuomo announced in January that he would look to acquire private real estate to expand Penn Station. The area in question spans 30th and 31st streets between Seventh and Eighth avenues, and it includes a homeless shelter, a Roman Catholic church, restaurants, bars and offices.

Landlord Michael Orbach, whose company owns an office building in the area, has already said he has no intention of selling his property to the state.

Cuomo did not explicitly mention using eminent domain to acquire the land, but Manhattan Institute senior fellow Nicole Gelinas was skeptical.

“It’s the normal interplay between the state and the city,” she said, “where Cuomo is almost always the smarter party and gets the better end of the deal.”

Officials at Empire State Development told the Journal that they haven’t ruled out the use of eminent domain, but would work with the city and other stakeholders on the redevelopment plans.
[WSJ] – Eddie Small

Related Articles

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator James Skoufis (Credit: Getty Images, NY Senate)

Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind
LLCs anymore

Governor Andrew Cuomo and 538 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Landlords take another hit: Cuomo signs expanded Loft Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

Cuomo wants to exempt NYC from prevailing wage bill

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, and iStock)

New York halts most construction

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

State mulls changing what construction is considered “essential”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

NY regulators lay out specifics of homeowner mortgage break

Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered the message this week ahead of a formal plan to combat social gathering in the city. (Credit: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images and Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

New York City to enforce social distancing at parks, playgrounds

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, iStock)

Governor gives NYC 24 hours to make crowd-reduction plan