SOURCE: The Real Estate Board of New York

The Real Estate Board of New York

February 17, 2010 11:02 ET

REBNY Rallies Coalition to Fight for 7 Line Subway Station

Area Residents, Commercial Tenants, Union and Construction Industry Leaders Unite to Save 41st Street and 10th Avenue Station

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 17, 2010) - A coalition of influential trade groups, commercial tenants, business leaders and area residents have united under the leadership of The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) to save a previously planned subway station at West 41st Street and 10th Avenue.

The station, long considered a key component of the $2 billion No. 7 line extension on Manhattan's West Side, was removed from construction plans because of budget constraints.

"This subway station is essential to the future of Manhattan's West Side," said Mary Ann Tighe, REBNY Chairman and CEO of NY Tri-State Region of CB Richard Ellis Worldwide. "The station will be an indispensable resource for current residents and tenants, and a linchpin for future development as well."

"The City should be applauded for doing its part in finding a way to finance $2 billion," added Ms. Tighe, who was one of New York City's first civic leaders to draw attention to the decision to halt construction -- and the negative impact such a decision would have on area economic development. "But spending $2 billion for one subway station instead of two is not making the most of the investment the City has made."

The group is seeking federal stimulus dollars and other federal funding for the shovel-ready project. Efforts of the coalition will include the recently-launched Web site, where visitors will be able to email their support for funding directly to elected officials.

"We're calling upon all government officials to join the fight," said Steven Spinola, REBNY President. "West Side development will be seriously hampered unless this subway station is built."

"We must act now," added Mr. Spinola. "Construction of the No. 7 line extension is well underway. Now is the time for other government entities to rally around this vital component of Manhattan's infrastructure and secure funding for this station. Residents and employees are flocking to this neighborhood with the promise that subway access would be coming soon."

Loss of the station will impact thousands of residents and office workers who recently moved into the area under the assumption that the station would soon be built.

In addition to REBNY, the campaign has won the support of construction industry leaders including Gary Labarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council, Louis Coletti, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Building Trades Employers' Association, and Richard Anderson, President of the New York Building Congress.

"Because of construction underway in the area, both residents and the area workforce largely assume that the station is still being built," said Gary Labarbera. "The truth is, at the moment, it is not. The station will only become a reality if we join forces to convince Washington that it must be built."

"Now is the time to build this station," said Louis Coletti. "The equipment is there and so is the workforce." He continued, "This is the perfect shovel ready project, which will benefit the city and stimulate the economy."

The station was planned to support an estimated fourfold increase in employment and a 150 percent increase in population in the vicinity of the planned station.

A REBNY analysis of the area surrounding the West 41st Street and 10th Avenue subway station noted that the area was home to 5,642 employees and 10,324 residents, according to the 2000 census. But with current and anticipated development, the area's population is expected to balloon to some 32,500 workers and 27,500 residents over the next decade. The impacted area includes an estimated 19 million square feet of residential and commercial space with 10,286 planned residential units and 3,358 new hotel rooms.

To date, the coalition's effort has included a series of meetings with a host of public officials including U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

The City committed more than $2 billion for the No. 7 subway line extension, which was planned to include new stops at West 34th Street and 11th Avenue as well as West 41st Street and 10th Avenue by 2013. Construction is underway to bore the tunnels for the extension. However, the Hudson Yards Development Corporation (HYDC), the entity overseeing the project, indicated that it does not have the funds to complete the extension as envisioned, and subsequently removed the West 41st Street station from its plans. Boring for the tunnels has already made the turn to the northeast at West 41st Street and will hook up with the subway station at West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue by July.

Recent estimates indicate the station's construction would generate:

-- 6,800 total jobs in New York State -- 5,700 in the city, 1,200 in the
-- $58 million in total city and state (non-property) tax revenue
-- $441 million in total city and state total wages and salaries
-- $1.542 billion in total city and state economic activity

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