Eliot spitzer needs a win, and Moynihan Station could be it. George Pataki let the project wither under lame management, and his last-ditch attempt to push through a scaled-down version was spiked by Sheldon Silver. But just when it seemed like Moynihan Station might fade away, Patrick Foye, Spitzer’s new chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation Downstate, revived it. If he can get it built, then Spitzer will have succeeded where Pataki couldn’t.
As Spitzer tries to get his footing, Michael Bloomberg wants to secure his legacy. To Bloomberg, the West Side stadium wasn’t about sports; it was about turning the far West Side into a midtown annex and broadening the city’s tax base. If Moynihan Station and the Hudson Yards project go forward, he’ll have accomplished that. But with barely two years left in his term, his clock is ticking.
Which brings us to Sheldon Silver, who foiled Bloomberg with the stadium and could foil him again, since Moynihan Station needs his okay. Though he supports the idea, Silver has always protected his district (downtown Manhattan) against competition from midtown, especially regarding public funds and office construction. He’s also famous for political horse-trading, and he can nitpick and delay until he gets what he wants.