Date: Jun 30, 2011
Press Release Number: 38-2011
Initiative Will Create 746 New Jobs and Quadruple Retail Space As Major Regional Transportation Facility in Washington Heights
The Port Authority announced today it has taken another step to advance the major overhaul of the 47-year-old George Washington Bridge Bus Station. The overhaul project will create 746 new jobs, provide a state-of-the-art transportation facility and quadruple retail space with the support of $100 million in private-sector investment.
Today, the Port Authority Board approved an increase of $3.2 million for the project to accommodate an increase in the amount of work needed to complete the project, which will include a new bus station with 21 gates, a modern waiting area for passengers and better integrated transfers to the MTA’s subway system.
The Port Authority is currently working with the developer, George Washington Bridge Development Venture LLC, in a public/private joint venture to redevelop the aging facility. The developer has finalized leases with major national retailers, finalized financing arrangements for the project, and advanced design drawings for the redevelopment work. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.
Port Authority Chairman David Samson said, “Through this unique partnership, the Port Authority will help ease the commute for people on both sides of the river by reducing traffic on the world’s busiest bridge. At the same time, we’ll be putting more than 700 people to work, providing a major boost to the regional economy.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “This bus station is part of the fabric of the Washington Heights community and this project will help the transformation now taking place there with better transportation and retail options for local residents.”
Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “Whether you use the George Washington Bridge Bus Station to commute to work or you live in the neighborhood and will be shopping in one of the new stores, today’s action is good news for the people of this region.”
The developer has agreed to invest $100 million to renovate the bus station and increase the retail space from 30,000 square feet to 120,000 square feet. The Port Authority will invest a total of $83.2 million in the project. The total amount of public and private capital being invested in the redevelopment project will exceed $180 million.
The bus station opened in 1963 and consists of two, three-level structures occupying facing blocks, directly above the Trans-Manhattan Expressway, on the west and east sides of Broadway. Currently, the West Building and a portion of the third level of the East Building contain approximately 30,000 feet of retail space and serve commuter bus and long-distance bus services on the third level and minibus service on street level.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is self-sufficient and does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.