Volume 20, Number 36 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 25 - September 1, 2010
A rendering of the Fulton Street Transit Center.
One step closer to the mixing bowl; update on Fulton St. hub
BY Aline Reynolds
Downtown’s future transportation hub, nicknamed the “mixing bowl,” will connect five subway stations and ten subway lines, and it’s now one step closer to opening.
The M.T.A. has finished the base of the Fulton Street Transit Center and the underpinnings of the attached Corbin Building, both on schedule.
“We have reached a significant milestone by completing the foundation of what will become a landmark transportation facility,” said M.T.A. capital construction president Michael Horodniceanu in a statement. “Anyone who has had to navigate the myriad of ramps, stairs and confusing signs at Fulton Street understands the importance of providing our customers with a more seamless experience at this major downtown hub.”
The transit center will be four-story metal-and-glass building at Broadway and Fulton Streets with a circular window at the top that will channel light into the station’s lower levels. It will cost the M.T.A. $1.4 billion to build – 90 percent of which is federally funded – and is slated for completion in 2014.
A new underground thoroughfare will link the R subway-line at Cortlandt Street and the 4/5 lines at Broadway. The center will also connect the new PATH Hub, the World Financial Center and the ferries to New Jersey via the World Trade Center Transportation hub, a separate $3.2 billion project expected to open in mid-2014 that will replace the temporary W.T.C. PATH station. Located directly west of the transit center, the hub will be the third-largest transportation center in the city.
The transit center will provide multiple access points to the A/C/Broadway/Nassau Street station, including a new entrance at Fulton and William Street, which will result in “better circulation and reduced overcrowding” at its platforms, according to the M.T.A.
Meanwhile, work on the Dey Street underground pedestrian concourse, to link the transit center with the World Trade Center Transit Hub, will go on through 2011.
The M.T.A. is also renovating the Corbin building, located on the northeast corner of John and Broadway Streets, which will connect to the new transit hub. Originally built in 1888 for Long Island Rail Road chief Austin Corbin, the building will contain more than 25,000 square feet of retail when complete. The repairs began in late June and will be finished in the fall.
“There is no specific timetable at this point” for securing tenants in the building, said M.T.A. spokesperson Kevin Ortiz in an e-mail. “We would probably look at issuing [request for proposals] for the space at some point prior to completion.”
“It’s an exciting project, part of that overall East/West corridor that will eventually run through the entire W.T.C. development,” said Robert Harvey, executive director of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, responsible for coordinating the various W.T.C. development projects.
The Alliance for Downtown New York said it’s thrilled to see construction of the transit center under way.
“From real progress at the World Trade Center site to the upcoming openings of the East River Waterfront Esplanade and Frank Gehry’s Beekman Tower, the district will continue to meet the demands of its 300,000 workers, 55,000 residents and more than six million annual visitors,” said Elizabeth Berger, president of the Alliance.
“We’ve all been waiting anxiously for the [center],” said Nicole LaRusso, senior vice president for planning and economic development at the Alliance. “It’s very encouraging to see the project moving forward.” LaRusso added that the center should help secure more office tenants in the area.