“Worst place on earth” may be buried underground

Port Authority redevelopment plan would put dreaded terminal below-grade

Port Authority Bus Terminal and AECOM CEO Troy Rudd (Roger Rowlett via Wikipedia; AECOM)
Port Authority Bus Terminal and AECOM CEO Troy Rudd (Roger Rowlett via Wikipedia; AECOM)

The “worst place on earth” may be buried under the earth.

The Port Authority is considering three plans for updating the Eighth Avenue bus terminal, which include tacking on an office component or moving the facility into the Javits Convention Center, according to the New York Post.

Construction giant AECOM partnered with architecture firm STV on a proposal to bury the terminal underground, rename it Hudson Terminal Market, and add stores, cafes and connections to the No. 7 and Eighth Avenue subway lines.

In AECOM’s plan, the block of West 41st Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues would be closed and converted into a “super block,” which includes a landscaped public park and a new office or apartment towers, according to the Post.

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The proposal was turned down by the Port Authority since it was expected to cost $5 billion more than the alternatives. Analysts say the plan could make more sense now due to low interest rates, according to the newspaper.

The city owns the land and could sell the air rights to developers to build on a superblock. The site is already zoned for about 6 million square feet of development.

In 2017, the Port Authority approved a preliminary $32 billion capital-works plan that would fund parts of a new 42nd Street bus terminal, airport renovations, debt service on the Gateway tunnel and other projects.

The terminal regularly features in spirited debates about the worst place in New York City. Comedian John Oliver has called it “the single worst place on Planet Earth.” [NYP] — Keith Larsen