Catching up on a little news from the long weekend, minutes before the close of business Friday, the Paterson administration announced that Tim Gilchrist, a top aide to the governor on all things infrastructure and transportation, would leave his job as senior advisor to the governor.
His new job: president of the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, the state agency charged (for at least the past decade) with expanding Penn Station into the Corinthian column-lined Farley Post Office across Eighth Avenue.
Mr. Gilchrist was the highest ranking member of the Spitzer administration left in the executive chamber. He initially served as deputy secretary for economic development and transportation; as his fellow deputy secretaries each left, he took on more turf, coordinating how to spend the state’s stimulus money received from the federal government.
Apparently ready to move on—he told this much to others—his new job puts him lower in the hierarchy (he used to be the governor’s office’s point man monitoring the Empire State Development Corporation; now he will report to that agency) on a project that he has worked on for years.
Mr. Gilchrist’s entrance means an exit for the existing president of the Moynihan Station Development Corp., Robin Stout, an attorney widely considered quite competent in the role. An ESDC spokesman, Warner Johnston, confirmed that Mr. Stout would move to another role in ESDC, although his exact job has not been finalized. “Robin will continue to serve ESDC in a senior capacity,” Mr. Johnston wrote in an email. “He is such an invaluable resource for ESDC and the State and we are finalizing his new portfolio.”
For the first time in its history, the Moynihan Station project appears to be on the precipice of actual construction, due in large part to the influx of $83 million in stimulus funding and the Paterson administration’s strategy of breaking up the project into two phases. The first phase, which the state aims to start this fall, is mostly below-ground infrastructure work, leaving the expansion into the Farley Building as a dream for another day, when new funding is available.