MANHATTAN — A parking garage located inside the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal closed this week, marking a symbolic beginning to the transit hub’s much-anticipated, $180 million renovation.
The Central Parking location’s lease expired on July 31, allowing the space to be converted into a planning headquarters for the construction project, according to Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman.
The lease was originally terminated in 2008 when the Port Authority and developers struck a deal to revamp the 47-year-old bus terminal, Coleman explained. But the construction project was subsequently stalled for nearly three years due to the economic downturn, with bus terminal tenants renewing their leases on a month-to-month basis, according to the spokesman.
In June, the Port Authority announced a plan to jumpstart the bus station overhaul by contributing an additional $3.2 million to the project, raising their investment to $83.2 million and putting the renovation on pace for a January 2012 start date.
The developer, George Washington Bridge Development Venture LLC, has pledged $100 million for the massive renovation, which promises to transform the dilapidated terminal into a “state-of-the-art transportation facility” and create 746 new jobs.
It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.