Press Conference Protesting Plan for Penn Station
Thursday, June 9, 2pm at W. 31st St. & 8th Ave.
BY SCOTT STIFFLER |Long opposed to a state-presented plan whose vision for the area surrounding Penn Station is more land grab than urban renewal (with a dash of dastardly eminent domain thrown in), Manhattan Community Board 5 (CB5) is calling on “lawmakers to hold hearings to get answers from ESD [Empire State Development] and other state stakeholders on the financial implications of proposed real estate plan to raze six city blocks and develop 10 skyscrapers.” On June 9, CB5’s leading voices opposing the plan will rally at its front door: West 31st St. and Eighth Ave. Residents, housing and transit advocates, and local business owners will call out the plan for what they see it as: a “scheme” that “would benefit a single developer, Vornado, by allowing for new massive office towers at the site,” with no guarantees to actually improve the brick and mortar experience Penn Station, let alone the transit function it’s tasked with.
This June 9 event has particular urgency: “New York’s Empire State Development says it may vote on the plan in a matter of weeks,” say the protest organizers, despite the fact that, “In May, the City’s Independent Budget Office released a report, raising serious questions about the financial viability of the project and concluded there weren’t enough details to even gauge the plan’s impact (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/09/nyregion/penn-station-revitalization-taxes.html) . A majority of the city’s Senate delegation have voiced opposition to the plan (https://nypost.com/2022/03/10/ny-state-sens-call-for-review-of-penn-station-redesign/), as have good government groups including Common Cause, Reinvent Albany, BetaNYC, League of Women Voters, Tri-State Transportation Campaign and New York Public Interest Research Group (https://nypost.com/2022/03/01/hochuls-penn-station-plan-will-take-6b-from-nyc-activists/).”
Among those speaking at the rally will be Layla Law Gisiko, Chair of Land Use, Housing & Zoning Committee, CB5 (and a candidate for retiring Richad Gottfriend’s NYS Assemblty District 75 seat); Luana Green, a reidn of Penn South Co-op; Maki Livesay, Vice Chair Landmarks Committee, CB5; Eugene Sinigalliano, for 251 West 30th Street Residential Tenants Association; and Sam Turvey, RethinkNYC, Co-coordinator, Empire Station Coalition.
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