Grand Central Terminal, a center piece of New York history and transportation, is about to receive a $200 million upgrade. Developer SL Green will be responsible for the 5 year project that will seek to significantly improve the commuter experience at the old train station. Everything from the street level entrances and mezzanine down to the subways themselves will experience a major renovation. New hallways and waiting areas will also be carved out in addition to the renovation. These significant changes could be a fairly intriguing prospect for Tri-State contractors as the city will be looking to finish the project as quickly as possible.
Why the rush?
While SL Green has been granted 5 years to finish the renovations, and new waiting area, they are in a race against time (and another building) to get the job completed. The Grand Central project must finish before a nearby 65-story office tower on East 42nd street. Without the completion of the Grand Central project tenants will not be allowed to occupy the office tower (which the developer is currently working on). A shorter amount of time means longer hours and more workers will be necessary to keep the renovation on track. Definitely an opportunity to watch out for over the coming months.
What is being renovated?
Renovations in Grand Central will include three new staircases to the subway platforms, new street level entrances and the mezzanine will be completely redone in order to improve the commuter experience. Officials from the de Blasio administration and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) hope that the improvements will allow them to run an additional train every hour on the Lexington Avenue line. It will not be easy as the proposed expansion must move around existing building columns that support the Hyatt Hotel that sits above it.
A Long Island Rail Road station at Grand Central is also under development by SL Green in order to help commuters connect to both the Metro-North and Times Square. The MTA, LIRR and Metro-North are expected to share the new mezzanine area that will include hanging plants, new tunnels, an expanded waiting area and a large arrival and departure board.
The multi-million dollar project should offer local contractors a great opportunity to get involved and drastically improve public transportation in one of the greatest and most historic landmarks in American history.