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The Much-Derided Port Authority Bus Terminal Could Go Underground In Redevelopment

The Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street in Manhattan

A rejected plan to put the notorious Port Authority Bus Terminal below ground could have a second life if low-interest loans from the federal government come to fruition.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is looking at three possible plans to replace the sprawling bus terminal on Eighth Avenue, The New York Post reports

One idea is to move part of the terminal, long derided as an eyesore, inside and out, over to the Javits Convention Center and another involves putting office space on top of it.

A third proposal, put forth by infrastructure company AECOM and architectural firm STV last year, would mean moving the operation underground, redeveloping shops and retail above it and calling it the Hudson Terminal Market.

The suggestion was knocked back by the authority last year because it was too expensive, costing $5B more than the other two plans. But insiders told the Post that low-interest federal government loans to spark economic development could make the idea feasible.

Under the proposal, West 41st Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues would form a superblock, and tunnels would allow buses to go straight into the new terminal. A glass roof would let in light and the reconfiguration would make space for green space and new office or residential buildings.

The plan could allow for the city and the authority to sell off air rights to developers, but would require a city-state development agency to spearhead the project. Back in 2017, the Port Authority approved its largest capital plan ever, setting aside $32.2B to be spent over 10 years. The plan was set to cover the rebuilding of the bus terminal, which has been the subject of much political infighting, as well as $10B for improvements to area bridges and tunnels.