Skanska Completes Transformation of the James A. Farley Building into New York City’s New Moynihan Train Hall

Press release 1/1/2021 4:00 AM EST

Leading construction and development firm Skanska announced today that it has completed the significant transformation of the James A. Farley Post Office Building into the new 225,000-square-foot, 21st century Moynihan Train Hall for Empire State Development. The mixed-use Moynihan Train Hall located directly across Eighth Avenue from existing Penn Station, for Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Amtrak passengers, increases total concourse floor space in the station complex by more than 50 percent. Commuters now have improved access to nine platforms and 17 tracks, as well as a direct connection to the Eighth Avenue Subway, and for the first time ever, a new entrance to the station complex on Ninth Avenue. The centerpiece of the building is a spectacular new 92-foot-high glass canopy roof and skylight that welcomes abundant natural light and air into the space for an enjoyable customer experience. The train hall also offers 700,000 square feet of new commercial, retail, and dining space, creating an iconic civic space for Manhattan's West Side.

Photo credit: Nicholas Knight, courtesy of Empire State Development

This redevelopment represents the first step in New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision for the Empire Station Complex. It restores the architectural dignity of the iconic Farley Building that dates to 1912 and represents Skanska’s second largest project following New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

“The new Moynihan Station is a symbol of the region’s bright future and general optimism, and we are honored to contribute to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of providing the city with the world-class transportation systems it deserves,” said John Sullivan, senior vice president of operations for Skanska USA Civil. “We thank the hundreds of craft workers that safely and diligently accomplished this project on time and on budget—even in the midst of a global pandemic. Infrastructure is vital to building a strong economy and we are proud to have had the opportunity to greatly improve access to and from the city for the people of New York."

The restoration of the Farley Building to create the new Moynihan Train Hall included:

  • The renovation of 1.4 million square feet of transit, retail, and commercial office space, which included the restoration of the building’s original, historic façade.
  • The construction of a 92-foot-high skylight that spans about an acre above the former post office’s historic steel trusses and new concourse level. This required 775,000 pounds of steel reinforcement and the installation of nearly 2,200 individual glass panels.
  • A major demolition of all existing structural and architectural elements, asbestos, and lead abatement, as well as a structural steel reinforcement and rehabilitation package of the building’s mechanical and electrical systems to make the facility air-conditioned and safe.
  • Other improvements included upgraded lighting and wayfinding and digital screens to convey information and create a modern passenger experience.

Throughout construction, the adjacent post office at the Farley Building’s Eighth Avenue entrance remained operational. The project created more than 5,000 construction jobs and is estimated to generate an additional 11,000 indirect jobs. In accordance with Governor Cuomo’s goals, Skanska prioritized the use of union labor and subcontracted work to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).

Skanska has worked in and around the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building since 2012, starting with the $220 million Moynihan Station Phase 1 project. This involved expanding and modernizing the West End Concourse at Penn Station to link with the Farley Building, improving passenger circulation and capacity for nine of the station’s 12 train platforms. Skanska’s success on Phase 1 led to developers Vornado Realty LP and The Related Companies selecting the company as general contractor for the $1.6 billion Moynihan Train Hall. 

Skanska has a long history of improving New York City’s transportation systems and its contributions have had a direct impact on the region, its residents, visitors, and travelers. Skanska completed Penn Station’s West End Concourse expansion in 2016, paving the way for Pennsylvania Station to connect to the new Moynihan Train Hall. Earlier this year, Skanska completed the new LaGuardia Airport Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall (Headhouse), and opened seven new gates in the LaGuardia Terminal B Western Concourse (Concourse A North). The company is also responsible for the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway and of the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement. Skanska also constructed the Oculus and the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, among other infrastructure projects throughout the city and Metro New York region.