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As Reported in Politico NY
“ESD approves $1.5M to evaluate Penn Station bids”
By Jimmy Vielkind
3:18 p.m. | Mar. 24, 2016

ALBANY — As it prepares to evaluate new bids for the redevelopment of Penn Station and the Farley Post Office building across the street, Empire State Development on Thursday approved $1.5 million for legal and financial advice.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced earlier this year that he was re-opening bids on the Farley building, which sits across Eighth Avenue from the busiest rail station in the country.

Cuomo coupled the new bidding with a plan to also brighten the heart of the existing complex, where passengers on the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak scuttle to trains along a cramped, stygian concourse beneath Madison Square Garden.

“Any of you who have been in Penn Station lately know it’s maybe the only thing in New York City that hasn’t changed in the last 50 years, except the number of people who use it,” Howard Zemsky, the president of Empire State Development, said at Thursday’s meeting. “This is really a very exciting, very impactful — when you think about infrastructure projects impact on the economy and the quality of life — this is right up there.”

Redeveloping the Farley building to handle Amtrak travelers was a brain child of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and it had been called Moynihan Station in his honor. Cuomo re-dubbed the facility the Empire Station Complex.

The authority voted unanimously to let its subsidiary, the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, extend $250,000 to the firm of Bryant Rabbino, $250,000 to Skadden Arps, $450,000 to Holland & Knight and an additional $600,000 to Ernst and Young for financial advice “to take us through the RFP process and the selection process for the Empire Station initiative,” according to MSDC president Michael Evans.