With Land Swap Flop, Moynihan Station Off the Rails Again

moynihan station mall With Land Swap Flop, Moynihan Station Off the Rails Again

The Moynihan Mall! (SOM)

It is one of the most mythic and elusive redevelopment projects in the city, the plan to restore at least some of Penn Station’s former glory with a new station inside the old Farley Post Office. But this train could be delayed for good.Moyn* Station broke ground on a no-frills first phase last fall, but it looks like that could be as far as the ambitious station gets if Related and Vornado can’t figure out what to do with their half of the station, according to The Journal. With a year-end deadline looming, the two Steves are coming up short on retail options for Moynihan Station.

Seeking other options, in recent months the developers have tried to get the City University of New York interested in a land swap plan with the Tribeca-based Borough of Manhattan Community College, the people said.

The developers would have built it a new campus in the back of the post office, and in turn, the developers would have been able to build apartments with unobstructed Hudson River views on the school’s valuable land of the five-block campus along the West Side Highway.

But those talks appear to have fizzled recently, as CUNY officials showed little interest, people familiar with the discussions said.

As if it were not news enough that the Moynihan Station development deal was in doubt, who knew such an audacious, if now ill-fated, landswap was in the works? Those Steves never met a crazy landswap or air rights flip they did not like. After all, it was the plan to move Madison Square Garden into the Farley that derailed the Moynihan project most recently. The Journal also reveals that the developers have been trying to attract Nordstroms or Target, so far to no avail.

What to do? BeLTT will never develop into a fully formed neighborhood until it gets a mall stuff inside a historic facade.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC