Newark Penn Station will get $190 million for renovations and upgrades, with $30 million in upgrades to start immediately, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday.
The rest of the upgrades will take place over the next five years. All will be funded by the State.
“Penn Station is a vital hub not just for those heading to New York City each day, but it is also a gateway to Newark and the resurgence that has taken place here over the past two decades,” Murphy said at a press conference, noting that the renovations will help restore the station to “its former glory.”
The first phase of renovations will focus on aesthetics, including the restoration of the classic benches in the waiting room, installation of brighter lighting, updating of the bathrooms, improved HVAC and air-handling, fresh paint and tile, and a deep clean of the limestone exterior to showcase the façade’s architecture.
New lighting and improved drainage will improve the rider experience in the bus lanes, and improved signage will help riders make sense of Newark Penn’s platforms and hallways.
“There is no more iconic or well-traversed landmark in the state than Newark Penn Station and it is long past due that it receives the critical repairs and upgrades that are needed,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, at the press conference. “I am so pleased that Governor Murphy and NJ Transit are making this tremendous investment in our state’s infrastructure that will not only serve our commuters but also generate the type of economic revitalization that Newark and the surrounding communities require to thrive.”
Newark Penn isn’t just a major gateway for commerce, employment, and economic development of the state’s largest city, but the seventh busiest rail station in North America and one of the busiest stations in the region. It’s served by NJ TRANSIT commuter trains, the Newark Light Rail, the PATH, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor services, and also serves as Newark’s main bus terminal.
The station opened in 1935 and is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. More than 50,000 customers use the station each day.
“Newark Penn Station is one of the most important, if not the most important, train station in the state. It is also one of the first things many people see when they arrive in Newark,” said Sen. Ronald Rice, D-District 28. “Newark has seen considerable improvements in recent years and another way we can continue its revitalization is through projects enhancing this station.”
“These improvements to Newark’s front door will be transformational not only because they enhance the commuter experience with a compelling retail environment, but because they provide a new customer base to Newark’s local business community,” says John Saraceno, principal of Onyx Equities LLC, owner and operator of Gateway 1, 2 and 4.
Onyx Equities and its partners purchased 1, 2 and 4 Gateway in 2018, immediately implementing an extensive capital improvement project that includes 10,000 square feet of street facing retail that, together with the Newark Penn Station renovations, will transform the Gateway section of Newark into a bustling center of international commerce.