The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has tapped two big-time architectural and design companies for the $10 billion revamp of its aging 42nd Street bus terminal.
The bi-state agency hired British firm Foster + Partners and Chicago-based construction engineering company A. Epstein and Sons to advise the overhaul of the decades-old transit hub.
“Both of these firms have a proven track record in delivering world-class design services and they are both skilled, experienced, and knowledgable with respect to large-scale urban projects,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said during a press conference Thursday, Aug. 4.
“They are perfectly suited to this challenge,” Cotton added.
The proposal seeks to completely raze the current terminal on 8th Avenue built in 1950, and replace it with a larger structure with 40% more capacity, along with a new storage and staging area for buses so they don’t have to line up on the street, and a ramp connecting directly to the Lincoln Tunnel decked over with 3.5 acres of green space.
“A project of this scale doesn’t quite exist,” said Juan Vieira-Pardo, an architect with Foster + Partners. “This is much more complex than most any project we’ve ever seen.”
The U.K. company designed a new Crossrail station in London with a shopping center and rooftop garden, along with Bloomberg’s European headquarters in that city, and a master plan for a metro system in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.
Epstein worked on the Renovation and Expansion of the Javits Center.
The Port Authority announced the massive scheme in early 2021 and expects to open the new facility at the end of 2031.
The agency has allocated $3 billion for the project in its current capital plan, but Cotton hopes to raise “a portion” of the funding by letting developers build four mixed-use towers at the terminal.
It plans to collect payments from real estate companies in lieu of city property taxes, similar to the controversial scheme Governor Kathy Hochul wants to use for her $22 Penn Station renovation and expansion.
The new high-rises would be on 8th Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets, 9th Avenue between 40th and 41st streets, 11th Avenue between 39th and 40th streets, and on 10th Avenue between 39th and 40th streets, according to the agency.
Some 260,000 passenger trips went through the terminal each weekday pre-pandemic, or nearly a quarter of all commutes across the Hudson River to and from Manhattan’s business district, according to the Port Authority.
The station has reached figures of up to 60% of 2019 numbers since the COVID-19 outbreak.