Developers are pouring billions of dollars into giving facelifts to some transit hubs across the country. These improvements are not for expanding traveler capacity but to make these hubs more eye-catching and give commuters a reason to hang out and not just pass through. They're mixing in dining, retail, event offerings, and even the chance to live there.
Developers believe that traditional rail and light rail station segments can spur development in an area while also “converting the old-time train station into a destination itself,” ConstructionDive reports.
Redeveloping and changing the perception of transit hubs will draw people in to shop and socialize, even when they’re not taking a trip, says real estate attorney B.A. Spignardo of Shapiro Lifschitz & Schram in Washington, D.C.
Major transit hubs like Union Station in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania Station in New York, and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia are devoting billions of dollars to make over their transit hubs into bigger destinations. In D.C.’s Union Station, Amtrak announced last year that it plans to build a $50 million concourse, which will also include a 3-million-square-foot mixed-use complex called Burnham Place that will provide residential, retail, and commercial space above the station.
Last year, Amtrak also proposed a $6.5 billion upgrade to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, which would include the creation of a “dense urban neighborhood.” Also, a $1.6 billion, 255-square-foot renovation is slated of the James Farley Post Office to turn it into a transit hall for Pennsylvania Station in New York. Developers are looking to preserve the historical look of the existing structure while also adding in modern features for commuters. The Moynihan Hall is to be completed by 2020 and will feature 112,000 square feet of retail and 588,000 square feet of office space.
Source: “Full Steam Ahead: Why Transit Hub Development Is Seeing a Resurgence,” ConstructionDive (Feb. 23, 2017)