NYS Seal For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2006


Statement On Moynihan Station PACB Vote

I strongly favor the redevelopment of the Farley building as Moynihan Station in order to provide much-needed enhancement to transportation in the region.

My decision not to support the project at today's meeting of the Public Authority Control Board is a reflection of the leadership of the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) and its failure to manage and structure properly a comprehensive and financially sound plan, despite the broad range of support that exists for the project.

It is deeply disappointing to those of us who have been supportive of the overall goal of the new Moynihan Station that the leadership at ESDC has been unable to provide answers to fundamental questions raised by Comptroller Alan Hevesi and the Assembly.

Among the concerns identified by the Assembly are the overall cost of the project and a lack of clarity regarding the design and development of the Farley Annex. In addition, the Assembly remains concerned about several issues related to property acquisition, development rights, future design modifications and various lease agreements yet to be negotiated. The Assembly also continues to oppose any plan that would limit transportation benefits to NJ Transit riders, while failing to address the transportation needs of Metro North, LIRR, Amtrak and subway riders.

While unable to support the project as presented by ESDC today, I am hopeful that the current administration will acknowledge the many issues expressed by the Assembly and the comptroller and put together a full plan that is sound, thorough and deserving of our support. I have written a letter to the governor confirming the contents of my conversation in pursuing this goal.

I am hopeful that between now and the next scheduled PACB meeting on Wednesday, October 18, ESDC will be able to provide much-needed leadership in advancing this overall project. Absent that kind of effort and due diligence by the administration, I am confident that under the leadership of a new governor we will be able to join together with the comptroller, the developers, members of community and union leaders in achieving a long-awaited and properly crafted plan that will honor the memory of the individual for whom this endeavor is named.

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NOTE: Below is Silver letter to the governor.

Room 932
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248
(518) 455-3791

October 13, 2006

The Honorable George E. Pataki
State of New York
Executive Chamber
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Pataki:

As you are aware from recent conversations pertaining to the upcoming PACB vote, I continue to be an ardent supporter of the comprehensive development of Moynihan Station. This project has enormous potential to vastly improve the transportation infrastructure on Manhattan's Westside. It is imperative that any proposal benefits the hundreds of thousands of commuters from Long Island, Westchester and Rockland and New York's hundreds of thousands of subways users, all of whom travel through the existing Penn Station.

It is disappointing that the plan before us spends hundreds of millions of State, City and MTA funds yet only benefits a limited number of commuters from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is also disappointing that at the end of ten years and an estimated expenditure of $600 million in public funds, commuters will only experience an estimated 45 second improvement in their transit time, according to the Regional Plan Association.

We have proposals before us that will renovate Penn Station into a modern and efficient facility with huge employment and economic benefits to the City of New York, the Metropolitan region and the State. We can also provide for a modern Madison Square Garden. We can leverage private sector dollars from the entire development to help finance the renovation of Penn Station. We can do this, while at the same time restoring the historic Farley Post Office. We can put forward a comprehensive plan that has broad community support. To neglect and potentially threaten this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is not acceptable.

Unfortunately, it is clear from the unanswered questions put forward by my staff and the Comptroller's staff that the current proposal is seriously incomplete and flawed. It is clear that the current proposal was put together before a thorough review could be completed and documents could be finalized. Even the amount of the public funds that will be committed to the project is still unresolved and the estimates have not been updated to reflect current costs.

To ask an oversight board to approve a project that fails to define the maximum State taxpayer liability and fails to meet the requirements of our public authority reform legislation on the sale of the transferable development rights is irresponsible.

I urge ESDC to immediately begin discussions on the comprehensive transportation plan that completely renovates Penn Station and includes the renovation of the Farley Post Office and a new Madison Square Garden. That plan, following all statutory guidelines, should be presented to PACB as soon as possible. At that time, we should be able to proceed with a first phase of the comprehensive development plan. As you know, this model has been used successfully in the past.

We have a unique opportunity. I hope that we can work together to establish a development plan that will win the support of hundreds of thousands of commuters and the affected community.