HELL'S KITCHEN — A tentative plan to build a new Port Authority Bus Terminal between Ninth and 10th avenues would "obliterate" the neighborhood, local officials say.
In a draft of a letter written to Port Authority executive director Pat Foye and dated Feb. 3, Community Board 4 chairwoman Delores Rubin and the board voiced opposition to a Port Authority working group’s suggestion that a planned replacement for the terminal be constructed a block west of the current structure, located on Eighth Avenue between 42nd and 43rd streets.
In October, the Port Authority announced it would hold an international design competition to find the best plan for a replacement terminal.
The Port Authority’s October board meeting minutes showed that its four-member working group mulled possibilities for the replacement project, with three out of four members agreeing that the “most promising approach” would be to build the new terminal on Port-Authority owned property between Ninth and 11th avenues.
In its letter, the Community Board 4 called the proposal “unacceptable.”
“CB4’s response to this is categorical: any plan to build on Ninth Avenue and on the side streets between Ninth and Tenth avenues is unacceptable to this board and will be met with opposition by the Hell’s Kitchen community,” the letter stated.
The letter also suggested that the Port Authority find a spot in New Jersey for its new terminal instead of trying to secure space in the already-congested neighborhood.
Constructing a new terminal in the area would be akin to “obliterating a neighborhood," the letter said.
“We invite these commissioners to shop at the stores lining the Avenue, to talk to some of the residents, to visit the Metro Baptist Church on West 40th [Street]. They will surely get some ‘stakeholder input,’” it added.
In October, members of the Port Authority’s board said it would choose its favorite submission plan for a new terminal in September 2016.
At that time, Foye said that Port Authority had not yet made any decisions about the location, size or other attributes of the new building.
“Those decisions will be made in the months to come,” he said.
A month prior to that, the Port Authority board presented five possible plans for a Midtown terminal to Board 4.
Most of the plans involved bulldozing buildings in Hell's Kitchen — which then-CB4 chairwoman Christine Berthet warned would evict local tenants and businesses, as well as changing the character of the neighborhood.
“Robert Moses’ technique of razing our neighborhood is not acceptable any longer,” Berthet said in her statement to the board.
A Port Authority spokesman did not respond to a request to comment on CB4's draft letter on Wednesday.