GWB Renovation: Retail Roundup

broadwaygwb_01.jpg7/2/11 UPDATE: The Manhattan Times is reporting that construction on the station is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013. Additionally there will be 120,000 square feet of retail space, with "national retailers" signed on already. However the paper was not provided with the names of the stores.

Original Article:

There's been a lot of chatter over the past several weeks about the planned renovation of The George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal. I decided I'd organize some of what's been said into one post. It seems there is a lot of concern over the use of the retail space.

  • In October The New York Times wrote about the planned renovation. This excerpt talks a bit about how the retail space may transform.
The station now has about a dozen tenants, Mr. Francois said, including an Off-Track Betting parlor, a credit union and newsstands. Those tenants will have to move out to make way for the renovation. "We're looking to transform that into more of a Class A retail space, with national anchor tenants that can better serve the needs of the community," he said.

Does Blockbuster count as a "Class A national anchor tenant"? Ahem. Hopefully the stores being brought in reflect the community's needs so they can stay in business, unlike Blockbuster which closed this year.

More after the jump....

  • Democratic District Leader Mark Levine wrote about the terminal's renovation and raised some questions that remain to be answered about the renovation, including who will occupy the new retail space.
  • How will the massive $150 million, 36-month construction process impact the surrounding neighborhood?  The developer will need to do everything possible to minimize noise, street closures, etc.
  • Will the Port Authority incorporate green technology into the new bus facility?  This should include mechanisms to prevent diesel fumes from exiting to the street, and also provide for inside parking of MTA buses so these vehicles don't have to continue to idle on 179th St.
  • Will the developer give guarantees to hire locally for construction and permanent jobs?
  • How will the problems of traffic and parking be handled for the new facility?  (200 existing parking spots on the roof of the bus station will be lost.)
  • What kind of businesses will be located in the newly renovated facility?  My informal poll shows that a book store is the number one request!
  • Streetsblog picked up on a Manhattan Times article about the renovation and highlighted the fact that "Big Box" retail will being excluded from the terminal. Meaning one store will not dominate the entire space, instead it will be occupied by several different retailers.
And as a little note from The Uptown Current. What ever happened to the plan to place a multiplex above the bus terminal? This would be welcomed by thousands of northern Manhattan residents as well as people living in New Jersey and The Bronx who could use easily use public transportation to reach the multiplex.


When will the restoration begin?

Very good question. I would suspect the fallout in the economy has had some impact on their timeline, though as far as I know this is still happening.

I wish I had an answer for you, but I have heard nothing on this in two years.

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