New York State has committed to provide $61 million in funding to jump start a reuse efforts at the Central Terminal. The funding plan follows a similar strategy that was used at the Richardson Complex where a hefty dose of State funding helped stabilize and restore the historic buildings in order to attract private sector developers.
At the Central Terminal, the State is funding work to restore the grand concourse, make exterior repairs to the tower, and transform the complex grounds. Plans call for new mechanical systems, roof repairs, and window replacements. A catering kitchen is also planned. More details are expected later today.
Governor Hochul’s funding announcement has been a long-time coming. Trains last used the circa-1929 terminal in 1979. The funding is a big win for the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation which has been steadfast in its mission to keep the Terminal upright, undertaking a number of repair projects, and hosting events in the complex while patiently waiting for a comprehensive redevelopment effort to get started.
In 2021, a master plan was released after substantial community input. The plan established a framework to re-establish the Terminal as a vibrant, year-round, regional venue that leverages diversity of spaces, and reflects cultural and economic assets of the Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood.
The plan calls for:
- Creating an ENGAGING CIVIC COMMONS as a year-round venue of events and activities centered around the Passenger Concourse – and a public plaza and adjacent grounds.
- Utilizing SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES while respecting the historic identity of the building and grounds.
- Creating WELCOMING OPEN SPACES with activated grounds and year-round use, recreational activities and events, to drive interest and support future building uses.
- Leveraging a DYNAMIC MIX OF USES – Cultural Center, Nonprofit Anchor, Innovation Hub, Housing, Film Industry – so that early phases will support a range of complementary creative, entrepreneurial and civic enterprises.
- Support COMMUNITY QUALITY OF LIFE by tying future plans to Broadway-Fillmore and being an important part of social and racial equity through the Terminal’s reuse.
Project implementation over a number of phases could cost upwards of $300 milllion. One of the next steps will be soliciting developers’ proposals; one such developer who has expressed a sincere interest is Douglas Jemal. Sources say there are other developers that have serious interest in all or portions of the complex as well.
The Terminal funding is in addition to a significant amount of money set aside in the State’s 2023 budget earmarked towards East Side projects including:
- $37 million for Broadway Market upgrades
- $30 million for the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor
- $6 million for improvements at MLK Park
- $55 million for Northland Corridor Redevelopment Area Phase 3
- $21 million for Northland Workforce Training Center
The State also expects to contribute substantial funding towards decking the Kensington Expressway over the next five years.