Agency to Restart Negotiations for Terminal’s Development Rights; Will Conduct Study to Explore Possible Relocation of Bus Facility
The Port Authority will redevelop its world-famous midtown bus terminal to improve its long-term future and ability to handle the region’s growing mass transit needs, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners announced today.
The agency’s sweeping strategy includes the resumption of negotiations with a prominent New York City development team for the air rights above the bus terminal to generate future revenue and funding sources needed to support the bus terminal upgrades. The proposed air rights development would add approximately 1.3 million square feet of office space above the terminal’s north wing, resulting in the renovation of approximately 55,000 square feet of bus terminal retail and an enhanced pedestrian and bus passenger circulation system.
The agency’s strategy also includes the potential construction of a new bus parking garage and a study to explore the possible long-term future relocation of the bus terminal.
At its monthly meeting, the Board of Commissioners authorized several actions to ensure that the bus terminal can help ease trans-Hudson congestion into the future by exploring ways in which this critical mass transit facility can be upgraded. The Board authorized:
- Exclusive negotiations for the next six months with 20X Square, a joint venture of Vornado Realty Trust and Lawrence Ruben Co., for air rights over the existing bus terminal’s north wing. The two real estate firms were designated in 2000 as the developers of the bus terminal’s air rights, but plans stalled in 2003. If an agreement is not reached in six months, an RFP to develop the air rights over the bus terminal may be issued.
- The retention of a consultant to review the physical improvements and critical building systems of the bus terminal to assess the facility’s future investment needs for efficient operations.
- Preliminary engineering to advance the possible construction of a bus parking garage on Port Authority property near the bus terminal and the Lincoln Tunnel.
- Preliminary engineering for the construction of 26 new bus gates.
- The retention of a consultant with transportation, financial and real estate expertise to explore long-range options for alternative sites for the bus terminal and potential real estate development options on Port Authority property.
The studies exploring various aspects of the bus terminal are expected to take up to two years.
“The timing is right for us to explore the future of this world-famous facility and plan now for how we can make it better,” Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said. “The Port Authority Bus Terminal serves more than 200,000 customers a day, and we expect that number will grow over the next decade. We need a modern facility to handle growth, so now is the time for leveraging the robust real estate market so that we can secure needed resources to invest in this aging facility and allow it to serve future generations.”
Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “We’re working to ensure that the bus terminal can meet the demand for trans-Hudson travel now and for years to come. That means growing capacity as the job market on Manhattan’s west side flourishes, increasing the need for mass transit access. It means improving service quality, so that our patrons continue to get the first-class experience you’d expect from a landmark transportation hub. And it means demanding sustainability, as the perils of environmental negligence grow ever clearer. During the past two decades, the Port Authority has worked tirelessly to upgrade the operation, safety, retail and atmosphere at the bus terminal. But we can do more, and today’s action is a promising step.”
The Port Authority Bus Terminal opened in 1950 and has become the busiest bus passenger facility in the world, handling 7,000 buses and 200,000 commuters each day. It includes 223 bus gates, retail and commercial space, and public parking for 1,250 vehicles.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia 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; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.
Artist renderings illustrate the proposed redevelopment of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. To learn more about the proposed plan click here