A Century Later, Grand Central Still Spurs Development

For some reason or another, the concept of transit-oriented development seems to rankle nerves and raise eyebrows. Outside of the city, at least, in suburban areas where “density” is a bad word, issues surrounding class and race often lead to intense debates over TOD. But within New York City, it’s a fact of life. In fact, the city is one giant transit-oriented development, made possible because of the reach and frequency of our transit network.

After so many decades and years of development, it’s easy to lose sight of how transit has spurred development — both residential and commercial — in New York City, but a new spate of projects serves to remind us of New York’s origins and showcases its future growth. As Grand Central Terminal turns 100 this year, a big dig underneath it will soon usher in over 80,000 new commuters per day to the area, and across town at 34th St. and 11th Ave., a new subway stop will deliver New Yorkers to one of Manhattan’s last truly undeveloped frontiers at the Hudson Yards.

In this week’s Crain’s New York, a big story on Grand Central drives home this point. Daniel Geiger looked at the planned and expected growth around Midtown that stems out of Grand Central and its importance to the city. Opening with the story about the owners of 140 E. 45th St. building out a real entrance that leads to Grand Central on East 44th St., Geiger’s piece highlights the up-building that will soon happen throughout Midtown.