A rendering of the new $1.6-billion Penn-Farley complex.
NEW YORK CITY—The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $537.1 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) low-interest loan to New York State for the Moynihan Train Hall redevelopment project.
The loan for the project was awarded to Empire State Development. Construction on the project has already begun and is expected to be completed at the end of 2020. State officials have estimated the overall cost of the project at approximately $1.6 billion.
“This TIFIA loan will help transform the James A. Farley Post Office Building in Manhattan to include a modern, state-of-the-art train station, delivering extensive improvements for passengers in easing congestion and delays,” says US Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “This is an important investment in the Northeast Corridor’s rail service and the economic vitality of the region.”
Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state had finalized a deal for the Penn-Farley complex project between the state’s Empire State Development Corp. and the joint venture of Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska AB.
The Farley Building redevelopment into the Moynihan Train Hall will create a new 255,000-square-foot train hall for Long Island Railroad and Amtrak passengers and increase Penn Station’s total concourse floor space by more than 50%. The Farley Building will also house 700,000 square feet of new commercial, retail and dining space within the mixed-use facility on Manhattan’s West Side. The train hall is being named after long-transportation advocate—the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
The Moynihan Train Hall will feature a new 92-foot high skylight to be built above the building’s historic steel trusses. A total of nine platforms and 17 tracks will be accessible from the Train Hall. The Train Hall will provide direct connections to the Eighth Avenue subway, and create direct access to the train station from 9th Avenue for the first time.
The project is being funded with $550 million from New York State, a combined $420 million from Amtrak, the MTA and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and federal grants, and $630 million from the joint venture development team of Related, Vornado and Skanska.
Several days after the governor’s announcement, Vornado, a New York City-based REIT, reported that in connection with the completed 99-year lease for the commercial space at the Farley Post office building with Empire State Development Corp., the Vornado-Related joint venture made a $230-million upfront contribution to the construction of the Moynihan Train Hall.
The joint venture also completed a $271-million loan facility, with an initial advance of $202 million. The interest-only loan is at LIBOR plus 3.25%, currently 4.41%, and matures in June 2019, with two one-year extension options.
To date, the TIFIA credit program has closed $26.4 billion in financings, supporting $96 billion in rail, highway, and transit projects across the country. Among some of the major projects in the New York area that hav received TIFIA financing include the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The $3.98-billion project currently under construction secured a $1.6-billion TIFIA loan, while the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s more than $1.4-billion Goethals Bridge replacement project garnered a $474-million TIFIA loan.