New York Senate wants answers on Kathy Hochul Penn Station redesign
State lawmakers will hold a hearing next week to address concerns about Gov. Kathy Hochul’s controversial plan to use tax revenue from 10 new skyscrapers to fund Penn Station renovations.
Senate Finance Chair Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) said the June 24 hearing will address « many questions that have arisen regarding the funding of the package. »
Hochul’s plan, which she inherited from her predecessor Andrew Cuomo, would revamp the underground transit hub while building new commercial towers, pedestrian improvements and new residential units. Several properties would be seized through eminent domain.
But funding for the plan has not been made public – and observers fear that Hochul’s plan to allow developers to make « payments in lieu of taxes » could rob the city’s coffers of $5 billion of tax revenues.
Opponents believe “PILOTS” would effectively give developers a tax refund.
Krueger, whose district will encompass much of the project area when the new boundaries take effect in January, said she was not necessarily opposed but had « endless concerns. »
« It’s a giant set of projects that will likely take 25 years to complete, » she said. « There are legitimate concerns on all sides, and there won’t be a perfect answer because there’s no perfect way to do it. »
Hochul announced last week that Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy would support the plan – but did not provide details of negotiations between the three leaders regarding funding for the project.
Empire State Development’s board of directors, which is leading the project for the state, is expected to vote on the project in the coming months.