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Proposal for re-opening the “Gimbel Passageway”

new-33rd-st-passagewayVornado Realty Trust has proposed to build a signature office building on the site of the Pennsylvania Hotel, directly east of Penn Station.  As part of the construction package Vornado has agreed to provide a number of transit improvements which includes the rehabilitation of the long closed Gimbel’s Passageway.  The underground corridor lies between between the 33rd St. PATH station/NYCT subways BDFVNQRW on the east and NYCT 123 subway lines/Penn Station on the west.

This is an action that the NYCTRC has long called for!  This link has been sorely missed since its closing in 1986 as it was an important connection for travelers.  Its return would add a substantial component to regional mobility.  This addition of a covered, well-lit, security monitored, accessible passageway, complemented by the activity of retail space along the south wall, is a win for everyone.

15 Penn Plaza project (Source: Vornado Reality Trust)
15 Penn Plaza project (Source: Vornado Reality Trust)

The Council is also pleased with the other proposed transit improvements: the widening of the 7th Avenue platform and new express stair widening; the four new subway entrances; the new ADA elevator; and improved circulation in the stations with new and widened stairs.  These measures are greatly needed and the opportunity to see them implemented with no cost to the MTA or the City should not be missed.

While the above ground vision for a signature office building is not within the purview of the Council, we are excited about the possibility of the Penn Station area becoming a stronger commercial district, particularly in light of the Moynihan Station redevelopment that is now moving forward, the ultimate development of the MTA’s Hudson Yards and the coming ARC station under 34th Street.

To read the full proposal click here pdf-icon