Opponents of Controversial Penn Station Mega-Towers Deal Head to Albany, Rally Before PACB Vote

Coalition of Transit Activists, Community Residents + Small Biz Owners to Urge Final Stopgap Board to Stop Massive Giveaway to Billionaire Donor Steve Roth

ALBANY, NY (07/26/2022) (readMedia)-- Trains Before Towers – a movement supported by community residents, housing and transit advocates, and local business owners – will travel to Albany on Wednesday to rally ahead of the Public Authorities Control Board's (PACB) vote on the plan to build 10 new massive towers around Penn Station. Despite serious, unanswered concerns raised by New York City's Independent Budget Office, the New York City Planning Commission and nearly every State Senator representing the five boroughs, ESD approved 18 million square feet of new skyscrapers last week. The PACB – which can use its limited authority to vote down the plan based on its lack of financial details – is the last stopgap before this plan is enacted.

The plan, which usurps City land use authority, will enrich billionaire Steve Roth of Vornado without any guarantees the scheme would adequately fund transit improvements at Penn Station. Last month, federal, state and local elected officials called for the State to halt the plan, pointing out that many questions remain about the project's necessity and financing. Roth is also a major donor to Gov. Kathy Hochul's campaign.


Dozens of opponents of the State’s Vornado plan, including the following speakers:

Michael Kink, Strong Economy for All Coalition

Eugene Sinigalliano, for 251 West 30th Street Residential Tenants Association

Layla Law-Gisiko, Urban Planning Chair of Community Board 5

Luana Green, Penn South resident

Sam Turvey, co-chair of Empire Station Coalition


Opponents of Controversial Penn Station Mega-Towers Deal Head to Albany, Rally Before PACB Vote

WHEN: Wednesday July 27, 2022 at 12:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
WHERE: Million Dollar Staircase
State Capitol
Albany, New York


Earlier this year, the City’s Independent Budget Office released a report, raising serious questions about the financial viability of the project and whether there were enough details to gauge the plan’s impact. The IBO report also concluded that while the State would collect payments from Vornado, the City would lose out on property tax revenue that it would have earned in a standard rezoning process. A majority of the city’s Senate delegation have voiced opposition to the plan. The Senators specifically voiced concerns about how much Vornado will receive in subsidies and other State-sponsored benefits as part of the plan and how much the City stands to lose in property taxes, urging ESD to halt the plan until there are “??explanations provided and agreements made associated with the cost, design, scope, bond liabilities, and other aspects of the project that remain unknown.” Good government groups including Common Cause, Reinvent Albany, BetaNYC, League of Women Voters and NYPIRG have also voiced opposition to the plan.

About Trains Before Towers

TBT is a coalition of community organizations, transit advocacy groups, preservation organizations, affordable housing advocacy groups, and good government organizations dedicated to improving the transit infrastructure at Penn Station.