34th St. is about to undergo some massive changes, with the closing of K-Mart and The Pennsy food hall, both adjacent to Penn Station.
The Pennsy will close first – on March 31, 2020
K-Mart, which has been open for 20 years, will close on May 4, 2020, putting more than 150 employees out of work.
Closing The Pennsy puts dozens of food workers out of work, for local vendors including The Little Beet, Pat LaFrieda, Italian spot Ribalta, Sabi Sushi, Taco Dumbo and the vegan restaurant The Cinammon Snail, a cocktail bar and beer garden, some of which might return to a new food hall in the area, serving commuters, shoppers and office workers.
Both shutdowns are part of a major renovation and redevelopment of the office buildings in which they reside, 1 Penn Plaza and 2 Penn Plaza, which are being re-branded as Penn 1 and Penn 2.
The discount shoe store Fabulous Footwear closed a few monthe ago, opening a new location further east on 34th St.
According to the NYC real estate publication Commercial Observer, Vornado Realty Trust which owns the buildings, is undertaking a $2 Biliion upgrade of the area around Penn Station.
The plans also call for the redevelopment of the nearby Farley Building, which will include a new train hall servicing Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road.
Vornado has not announced if it will open a new food hall as part of the renovations.
34th St. certainly has changed in my lifetime.
Who remembers Orbach’s on the corner of Fifth Ave?
B. Altman on another corner of 34th and Fifth?
Franklin Simon mid-block between Orbach’s and Macy’s?
How about Gimbel’s?
Saks 34th St.?
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org