Plans to extend No.7 train depend on West Side redo

By Philip Newman

The long-discussed idea of extending the No. 7 subway line beyond Times Square may yet reach fruition if plans are approved to spend $2.77 billion in a major sprucing up of a somewhat derelict part of Manhattan’s far West Side.

But Bloomberg administration officials conceded it might heavily depend on approval of a new athletic stadium nearby.

The plan would not only mean bringing No. 7 trains to 34th Street and 11th Avenue but would include a park to be built on a platform over an abandoned rail yard and the establishment of a new boulevard modeled on Park Avenue.

Possible obstacles might be the requirement that the whole project would have to be approved by the City Council and what most observers see as a requirement that it be accompanied by a nearby stadium for the New York Jets and the 2012 Olympic Games.

Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff announced the plan at City Hall last week, explaining it was necessary to “find ways and places to expand for our future.”

Doctoroff said the Bloomberg administration’s view was that such a place could be found only on Manhattan’s far West Side.

Doctoroff said the plan would not involve turning to taxpayers.

He said the idea called for real estate developers to provide more than $10 billion in principal and debt service over several decades.

“We envision making investments in order to bring tenants both private and commercial, who will, in turn, provide the taxes that will bring in billions for the city of New York,” Doctoroff said.

On the other hand, he said defeat of plans for a West Side stadium would present major problems.

“It would make it much more difficult to attract developers to put up buildings and generate revenues to pay the debt,” Doctoroff said.

Besides extending the Flushing line, the plan includes a 6.5-acre park on a platform covering the abandoned Eastern Rail Yards between 30th and 33rd streets and 10th and 11th avenues and a new boulevard between 10th and 11th avenues.

Extending the No. 7 train to the far West Side has long been discussed, most recently as a way to improve transportation to the Javits Convention Center.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

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