Photo: Rob Young/Flickr
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed renderings for the top five proposals from its bus terminal redesign competition on Thursday. The outdated 66-year-old bus terminal currently sits between Manhattan’s 40th and 42nd Streets and its proposed overhaul has been a sore spot for neighborhood residents and commuters alike.
Back in October 2015, the Port Authority approved a redevelopment plan for the aging bus terminal with an estimated budget between $8 billion and $10.5 billion. A design competition was then announced and participating firms were permitted to consider alternate sites for the new terminal.
However, to get New Jersey’s approval for the Port Authority’s LaGuardia Airport redevelopment, the New York half of the bistate Port Authority agreed to confine the location of a new terminal to Manhattan’s west side.
The Port Authority had been proposing to overhaul the bus terminal as early as 2013, and only months before the October 2015 design competition was announced it had settled on five possible designs. Nothing came out of the first design competition, and its very existence was criticized as being a stall tactic by the Port Authority to prolong the redesign decision.
Since it announced the new design competition back in March of this year, the Port Authority was further criticized for not seeking input from Hell’s Kitchen residents or commuters before setting design guidelines.
In the end, all the bombastic dialogue over the competition may be for naught, as none of the finalist’s designs may end up being chosen. Though the Port Authority told Crain’s that the finalist’s designs may possibly only “inform the planning process.”
The estimated budgets for the five designs range from $3.7 billion to over $15 billion, which is not only over the proposed Port Authority budget of $8 billion to $10.5 billion, but nearly double the redevelopment estimate for LaGuardia Airport.
To make matters even more difficult for the Port Authority, one design suggests it use eminent domain to seize neighboring properties for the bus terminal’s revamp — a notion that likely won’t sit well with residents.
Here are the five proposals that the Port Authority chose as its finalists:
1. Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Estimated at $3.7 billion, this design is the least expensive and removes all ramps into the bus terminal, freeing up as much as 10 million square feet of public property. This proposal would require eminent domain to seize property for the new terminal.
This proposal is estimated at $4.2 billion and features an underground walkway connecting the new bus terminal to Times Square.
3. Hudson Terminal Center Collaborative
At $15.3 billion, it is the most expensive and most unlikely proposal. The new terminal would be built entirely underground beneath the current site.
4. Perkins Eastman
This proposal moves the new terminal into the basement level of the Jacob Javits Center for $5.4 billion.
5. Archiller Architecture Consortium
This $7 billion design adds a nearly 10-acre park to the roof and expands the terminal’s size to nearly 4 million square feet.