Going forward with Governor Kathy Hochul proposed expansion. The High Line, which will soon bring the elevated park within one block of the Moynihan Train Hall.
The envisioned plan will add a wooden bridge at 31st Street and 10th Street to the eastern edge of the park. It will be extended half a block before connecting to a second walkway that directs pedestrians north along Dyer Avenue and an existing elevated plaza in Brookfield Properties’ Manhattan West development.
The extension was first unveiled by former Governor Andrew Cuomo as a link between the popular park and the new Moynihan Train Hall – part of an expanding infrastructure and transit project. ultimately reviving West Midtown.
While the fate of most of this plan remains unclear, Hochul stated this week that his administration will move forward with the eastern High Line expansion. It is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023. The announcement makes no mention of a northward extension of the High Line, which Cuomo had originally proposed as the second phase of the expansion.
A spokesperson for Hochul confirmed that Empire State Development Corporation, the state’s main development arm, will pay $20 million of the estimated $50 million price tag. The remainder will be privately funded by Brookfield Properties and Friends of the High Line, and the Port Authority will contribute land.
Like most of Cuomo developer-friendly plans For Midtown, the extension has drawn scrutiny. It will bring the High Line straight into the arms of Brookfield’s new seven million square foot mixed-use development, possibly beneficiary developer greatly.
Sabrina Kanner, Vice President of Brookfield Properties, praised the “vibrant gateway that connects the Moynihan Train Hall directly to the entire High Line and the new West End.”
While the state has also been accused of prioritizing luxury parks, ignoring critical safety and quality of life issues in the pedestrian-unfriendly streets below. The Port Authority has been using the area for a long time for the construction phase and parking lot.
Lowell Kern, chairman of the Manhattan Community Board 4, which initially opposed the expansion, said he had received written assurances from Empire State Development that planters and architectural lighting would be installed at street level.
“We don’t want the High Line to be there and the dark and scary space below,” he said. “We want the street level to be as inviting as the High Line.”