Industry heavyweights gearing up for $3B Penn Station redevelopment

A $3 billion plan to renovate Penn Station has attracted some of the city's biggest developers.

Several large real estate landlords and builders—including Boston Properties, Brookfield, Related Cos., Silverstein Properties, Tishman Speyer and Vornado Realty Trust, attended a tour of the transit hub on Feb. 25—according to a document provided by the Empire State Development Corp.

The state agency is overseeing a request for proposals to solicit a developer to improve the station with new retail, upgraded interior spaces and better entrances, including a plan to potentially relocate the Theater at Madison Square Garden and create a large glass opening to the station along Eighth Avenue.

Developers were also invited to bid on transforming the Farley Post Office Building, west of the Moynihan Station, would also accommodate retail stores and potentially also office and hotel space.

Other notable developers, including Madison Capital and JDS Development, the builder of what will be the tallest residential tower in Brooklyn, also participated in the site tour. It's not clear which firms will submit bids, but sources said that most are likely to participate.

Potential lenders who may help finance the megaproject were also present. Among them were Bank of China, Barclays and Macquarie Capital. Architecture and construction firms, including Tishman Construction, Skanska, FX Fowle, Gensler, SOM, Tutor Perini and Thornton Tomasetti, were also present.

Bids for the project, which would be paid for by private developers in return for revenue from the new retail and commercial space, are due April 22.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the plan to remake Penn Station at the beginning of the year as part of a bold slate of infrastructure projects. Under the latest plan, a redeveloped Penn Station and Farley Buidling would be known as the Empire Station Complex. A decade ago, the state selected developers Vornado and Related to jointly convert the Farley Building into Moynihan Station. The developers eventually expanded that plan to include relocating Madison Square Garden from atop Penn Station to the western annex of the Farley Building and gut-renovating the station. That plan fell apart during the recession. In recent years, a more modest $300 million plan was undertaken to install entrances in the Farley Building connecting to Penn Station's tracks.