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MOU clears way to negotiate lease agreement

November 21, 2005
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett 973 491-7078

Moynihan Station Development Corporation has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with NJ TRANSIT that will enable NJ TRANSIT to become the anchor rail tenant at the new Moynihan Station on 8th Avenue in New York City.

Both the Moynihan Station Development Corporation (MSDC) Board of Directors and the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved a Memorandum of Understanding permitting NJ TRANSIT to negotiate a 99-year lease for 35,000 square feet of exclusive space designated for passengers, customer service, and transportation support.

“We are pleased that NJ TRANSIT will be our partner in Moynihan Station. We think they will be an excellent tenant. We will benefit from their years of rail experience and they will benefit from a new station that can accommodate their growth,” said Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of the Board for both MSDC and its parent corporation, the Empire State Development Corporation.

“The new Moynihan station and the new 34th Street station will give us room to accommodate forecasted ridership growth and provide New Jersey commuters with better access to train platforms and the street,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and NJ DOT Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “As the anchor transportation tenant in the new Moynihan station, our passengers will benefit from expanded customer service, retail and restaurant amenities, as well as relief from overcrowding at Penn Station New York.”

Under the agreement, the intent is for NJ TRANSIT to exercise operational control of the new station, and NJ TRANSIT will integrate the new facilities on Eighth Avenue with both its existing platform and station operations under Seventh Avenue in Penn Station, as well as the planned multi-level station under 34th Street as part ARC. NJ TRANSIT is expected to pay MSDC $2.3 million annually for the exclusive space.

“This agreement is an important step forward for ARC, which is a top transportation priority for New Jersey. It will enable us to improve capacity and reliability for today’s commuters as well as ensure our continued mobility and economic growth,” said New Jersey Governor-Elect and Senator Jon S. Corzine.

ARC features the new Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel as its centerpiece and together with added track, station and train storage facilities will double trans-Hudson rail capacity to meet peak period demand for service between New Jersey and Manhattan—projected to surge to 86,000 passengers by 2025. One of the first phases of the program includes extending existing Penn Station to better vertical circulation, including access to Moynihan Station.

"This is a big step for New Jersey commuters," said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. "By ensuring that New Jerseyans continue to have convenient access to Manhattan, NJ TRANSIT is helping our economy stay strong. My friend and former Senate colleague Pat Moynihan would be proud."

In presenting the MOU for Board approval today, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington noted that the Moynihan station rail facility is ideally located not only

for access to existing Midtown destinations, but also as an anchor in the planned redevelopment of Midtown Manhattan and the west side.

Moynihan Station will feature improved access to platforms; reduce delays and dwell time for all rail users; and alleviate congestion by increasing passenger capacity and circulation. The Moynihan Station project will create an expansive 300,000 square feet space for the train station itself, 850,000 square feet for commercial space and up to one million square feet of air rights for a residential housing tower across Eighth Avenue. The Post Office will continue to occupy 250,000 square feet in the building.

According to MSDC, it is estimated that the Station and residential tower to be built at One Penn West will create more than 10,000 temporary construction jobs and more than 3,300 permanent jobs. When completed, this project is expected to generate more than $50 million in annual tax revenue for the City and State. It is expected to cost $818 million to build.

“Improved and expanded rail passenger capacity is critical to our regional mobility going forward and is a vital part of the ARC program which we are fully committed to advancing,” said Port Authority of NY & NJ Chairman Anthony Coscia.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is currently reviewing NJ TRANSIT’s application to begin preliminary engineering of THE Tunnel project, as well as the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Once the FTA review is complete, public hearings are expected to begin early next year.