WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal's completion date has been pushed back yet again, with an estimated opening date of December 2016, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The project, which has been riddled with delays and challenges since the it was first announced in 2008, was slated to be completed by mid-May 2015. But it encountered several “construction challenges” that pushed the date back even further, a spokesman for the project said Tuesday.
Gomez said the renovated terminal will open in phases, with all the repairs wrapping up and vendors completely moved in by December 2016.
“Staging the construction operation while considering these multiple factors, and keeping the facility operational as a 24/7 major bus and subway station, required long and thorough planning, studying and implementation, before any construction work could commence on site,” said Javier Gomez, a spokesman for GWB Bus Station Redevelopment Venture.
Gomez said the complicating factors included relocating the ticketing booth operations from the main floor to a newly built facility; fitting in the itineraries of NJ Transit and other bus carriers into a smaller, newly created space; and creating a bus service that would carry handicapped commuters from the temporary ticketing station to the upper platforms.
The delay was news to Community Board 12 chairman Shah Ally, who said said the board hasn’t received any information from the developer, or an updated timeline, since January 2015.
Ally said the developer’s point of contact for the project left last year, and the board hasn’t been in communication with the developer's team since.
Gomez didn’t reply to a request for comment regarding whether the developers spoke to the community board or other elected officials about the delay.
CB12 blasted the developers last year for not keeping locals informed of the updated plans for the project.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who was part of the big push to get locals more involved with the project ins 2014, said his team has “communicated our intentions to the Port Authority to host [a town hall meeting in May] and look forward to getting an update on the status of the development.”
Hamilton Heights Steven Kopstein, a residential broker who works primarily in Washington Heights, said he's looking forward to the project wrapping up.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the transformation of an eyesore into an attractive destination that will provide the neighborhood with additional shopping opportunities and perhaps enhanced transportation options,” he said, adding that the community could really use another supermarket.
Several local and national vendors have already signed up to open in the new space, including Pick & Eat, Café Buunni, VS Berry Frozen Yogurt, Nail Lounge, VistaCare, Yuri Bachayev, Lulu Bakery, Ticketro, First Financial, Mr. Nice Guy, Reyes Optical, Joyeria Pepe, Café 178th Street, GWB Juice Bar, Greg the Iconic Look, Buffalo Wild Wings, Blink (Fitness), GAP, Time Warner, Fine Fare, Gateway News, GAP and Marshalls.