From the New York Sun’s Big Expansion Projects Bring Even Bigger Delays:
A good example of just how long delays can fester sits just a few blocks east of Javits, where the Farley Post Office was supposed to become Moynihan Station years ago. Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and New Jersey Transit riders have suffered through Penn Station’s dreary and decrepit underbelly since the original facility was torn down in 1963 to make room for Madison Square Garden. Senator Moynihan’s terrific idea was to convert the city’s main post office into a train station.
The New York Times first reported on delays for revamping the nation’s busiest transit hub in this dispatch: “After a delay of a year and a half caused by conflicts over personnel and rising budget estimates, city, state and Federal officials agreed yesterday to move forward with a $315 million project to build a new Amtrak railroad station in the General Post Office at 33d Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.”
That was July 1997. The cost was $455 million. Opening day was to be in 2002.
More than a decade later, there are no shovels in the ground but plenty of ideas for expanding the project. Amtrak wants nothing to do with the new train station in the post office, meaning new renovations for Penn Station. Madison Square Garden wants to move across the street into a portion of the post office, leaving room for new skyscrapers. There’s talk of a huge retail mall, even a new Macy’s. The latest projected cost is $14 billion.