The on again off again plans to build a skyscraper above the Port Authority Bus Terminal hit a major snag today. The tower’s developer, Vornado Trust, told Bloomberg News that it is would not proceed with the project. The reason given was the loss of development partner Chinese investor, Soho China Ltd, which planned to put $600 million into the project. With Vorando out of the picture, the Port must go back to the drawing board and decide what it’s going to do, whether it will seek another investor for the project or scuttle plans altogether. One thing is for certain the terminal badly needs renovating and in its current condition it is not a source of civic pride for those New Yorkers and visitors who journey through its doors each day.
In a press conference held today, Patrick Foye, the Port’s director, gave no timetable for reassessing the project. He said only that the “transaction (referring to the cancelled deal) was important as it would provide desperately needed capital to rebuild and expand the bus terminal as well as generate tax revenue for the city and region, and create jobs.”
The project, which is called 20 Times Square and was designed by London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, was cancelled once before and postponed on another occasion due to the economy. Vornado and Soho China Ltd were selected in 2000 by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to develop the 1.3 million-square-foot office tower above the terminal, which is located on Eighth Avenue between West 40th and West 42nd streets.