Years late and over budget, Fulton Transit Hub nearly complete

But displaced businesses decry a lack of relocation services

Rendering of the revamped Fulton Center
Rendering of the revamped Fulton Center

Ten years and millions over budget, Fulton Street Transit Center is near completion.

The City Council’ s Transportation Committee got an update on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $1.4 billion Lower Manhattan megaproject Wednesday. The massive undertaking will ultimately link 11 different subway lines at 6 stations. By 2016, the center will also connect with the Port Authority’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub. However, costly delays have been a source of ongoing frustration, city officials told the committee.

“It’s disappointing that the Fulton Center’s project costs have increased by millions of dollars and that the construction itself has encountered so many unforeseen holdups,” James Vacca, a Bronx Councilman, told NY1.

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Another bone the community had to pick with the MTA is the displacement of 150 area businesses, which an MTA official said Wednesday will not have first dibs on the hub’s retail space when it opens next year. The authority said it will announce Fulton Center’s master lease holder for the site’s 65,000 square feet of retail space within the next month, and that the winner will offer market-rate rentals to retailers.

“They should at least give us some help, at least help us relocate to somewhere we can make a buck,” Billy Baldwin, who owned a shop called Cookie Island at 189 Broadway before Fulton Center construction pushed him out, told the Downtown Express. “They couldn’t have screwed someone over more than they screwed us.”

Among the changes underway at the transit center are a new subway entrance and a showpiece glass roof, dubbed an oculus, that will filter natural light into the hub’s lowest level. [NY1] and [Downtown Express]Julie Strickland