PRESS RELEASE, CONTACT: Jim Leydon, Communications Director
CONGRESSMAN RICHARD NEAL ANNOUNCE ACCELERATED FULL BUILD OF UNION STATION
December 12, 2014 -Springfield, MA- The Springfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA) has made significant progress in delivering the long-anticipated revitalization of the historically significant Union Station property as the “Union Station Regional Intermodal Transportation Center.”
With $68.3 million in funding secured to date, the "transit-focused" elements of the redevelopment project are currently under preliminary construction. These elements include:
- The complete renovation of the terminal building’s first-floor transit space to support ticketing, waiting and support areas for Amtrak, intercity and state-supported regional rail service as well as regional PVTA and intercity bus operations.
- The construction of a 26-bay integrated open-air regional and intercity bus terminal.
- The renovation and reactivation of the Amtrak passenger tunnel linking the terminal building to train platforms and the adjacent downtown area.
- The construction of a four-level 255-space on-site parking garage for transit users.
Over the past year, the SRA has simultaneously advanced design and early construction activities in connection with this transit phase through a state-authorized construction delivery method. This work included:
- Advancing the design of a "full-build" redevelopment project which combines the “transit-focused” elements (see above) with commercial development that is expected to fuel downtown economic development and market-rate housing opportunities.
- Performing site-wide environmental cleanup and building abatement.
- Demolition of the former Baggage Handling Building, requiring the intricate reinforcement of the elevated track retaining wall, in order to make way for the new bus terminal and parking garage.
- Continuing its efforts to seek funding to construct directly related program elements needed to ensure Union Station’s long-term economic viability.
The “full-build” project will enable the completion of a comprehensive mixed-used complex that includes renovated space for third-party tenants. An additional investment is needed to make the necessary tenant-ready core and shell improvements to 64,000 square feet of space on the upper floors of the terminal building, and construct two additional levels of structured parking (122 spaces) for a total of 377 parking spaces.
It is critical to undertake the construction of these elements now, while there's an opportunity to do so cost effectively -- while the related transportation components are under construction. Without additional funding, only the fully funded “transit-focused” elements would be constructed in the near term. It makes good sense and is much more cost-effective, based on the construction economies of scale, to make these upper floor tenant improvements and to construct additional parking now. Note that, as a practical matter, the additional parking spaces cannot be constructed later.
The SRA has executed a contract securing a MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grant of $4.2 million towards the “full-build” effort. On Monday, the City Council is being asked to provide $3.2 million in additional funding for the full build effort. These City funds will be repaid utilizing MGM’s commitment to make annual payments to underwrite bond financing to the SRA for the Union Station project under the Host Community Agreement.
The revitalization of Union Station is truly a transformational undertaking for the City of Springfield and the region. This property is a strategically-situated regional transportation asset with enormous upside potential and spinoff investment opportunities that will lead to dramatically improved economic conditions. It will complement and reinforce other current and proposed development projects in our downtown and act as a true “game-changer” for Springfield. I am committed to achieving a fully revitalized Springfield Union Station.