Opponents of Controversial Penn Station Mega-Towers Deal to Rally Ahead of Final State Vote

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

NEW YORK, NY (07/21/2022) (readMedia)-- Trains Before Towers – a movement supported by community residents, housing and transit advocates, and local business owners – will rally this morning before Empire State Development Corporation's (ESD) final vote on the plan to build 10 new massive towers around Penn Station. Last week, 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.

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 is expected to approve 18 million square feet of new skyscrapers. 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. 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:

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

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

Sam Turvey, co-chair of Empire Station Coalition


Opponents of Controversial Penn Station Mega-Towers Deal Rally to Stop Plan Morning of Final State Vote

WHEN: Thursday July 21, 2022 at 09:00AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
WHERE: 633 3rd Avenue
New York
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.