This subway line connects both ends of Manhattan’s resurgence

NY Post
Realty Check’s favorite subway ride these days is the A line between Fulton Center and 125th Street/St. Nicholas Avenue. The speedy express skips 12 stops and covers about as many miles in 23 minutes — faster than you might fly between Manhattan’s most resurgent neighborhoods.

The Wall Street area and Harlem wouldn’t seem to have much in common. And they don’t — except that each reflects, in a different way, the city’s extraordinary, possibly unique, regenerative powers.

My heart lifts every time I visit either district. Our readers are familiar with the many facets of downtown’s stirring revivals and reinvention since 9/11. The once-buttoned-down “Financial District” is home to more than 60,000 people. Sidewalks are busy day and night. Great companies are moving there from Midtown. (McKinsey, headed for Three World Trade Center, is the latest.)

The area that once had too few good stores might soon have too many. Fancy movie theaters have opened, and more are coming. So are a new South Street Seaport and a score of new restaurants.

It might seem a far remove from mostly low-rise Harlem’s latest renaissance, which has kicked into high gear after years of promises that fell short.

The historical capital of African-American culture benefited from the same conditions that continue to lift nearly all city boats — an influx of global capital, demand for modern new homes and the amenities residents need, and unprecedented low crime levels.

Harlem had no local 9/11 to overcome, although of course the terrorist attack took lives from every corner of the city. Harlem did, however, need to rebound from previous decades of neglect, disinvestment and bank red-lining that followed an even earlier period of high crime and middle-class flight.

Today’s Harlem — east, central and west — bubbles with energy and optimism. Lenox Avenue, Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and 125th Street river-to-river, especially, buzz with redevelopment.

Harlem’s magnificent brownstone cross-blocks between Fifth Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue have been rediscovered by a new generation of owners and renters.

The winds of change are especially active on 125th Street, where new apartments, Whole Foods, clothing stores, a Marriott Renaissance Hotel atop the historic Victoria cinema site, and a David Adjaye-designed addition to the Studio Museum in Harlem are making the fabled boulevard new.

Much more is coming. A development-site offering at 54-62 W. 125th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues, on the market via Ariel Property Advisors for $27.5 million, will likely replace a string of long-vacant storefronts with a mixed-use project of up to 100,000 square feet.

The transformation hasn’t come without cost. Some longtime residents and small businesses have been priced out — as happened in many gentrified parts of town, not only in Manhattan.

But a stroll through Harlem — parts of which are more beautiful than any other residential part of town — is as stirring, in its way, as a stroll through reborn downtown.

As Duke Ellington’s classic song put it, “Take the A Train” — but today it means in either direction.

Task force hasn’t given up on Missouri Hyperloop

Plans to bring Hyperloop, a high-tech transportation system that could allow for a 30-minute trip between St. Louis and Kansas City, to Missouri was the talk of a task force meeting Wednesday.

The idea sounds like it’s straight out of “The Jetsons,” but it could become a reality in the very near future, Andrew Smith of the St. Louis Regional Chamber said at a meeting of the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force.

With a Hyperloop transportation system, the 250-mile trip from St. Louis to Kansas City would take only 25 minutes. The new technology, developed by California-based Hyperloop One, uses magnetic levitation to propel a train-like pod at incredible speeds.

The company will pick a place in the next two years to build its first completely operational Hyperloop, and Missouri is one of three American finalists. The Show-Me State is a particularly attractive destination because of its central location, Smith said.

“There’s a reason why the U.S. interstate system started in Missouri,” Smith said. “It’s because of where we’re located. It’s a good place to start building a national network.”

Under the current proposal, the route would extend from St. Louis to Lawrence, Kansas, with stops in Columbia and Kansas City. The whole trip would take just over half an hour.

The proposal was created by the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition, a public-private partnership, and has been heavily supported by the Missouri Department of Transportation. UM System President Mun Choi has also expressed support for the plan.

To remain in contention for the project, the coalition would need to conduct a $1.5 million feasibility study to determine the actual implications of building a Hyperloop across Missouri. The other American finalists in Texas and Colorado have already taken strides in that direction, Smith said.

If Missouri’s bid for the project is successful, it could have far-reaching significance for economic development and growth. With plans to build a Hyperloop, the state would be more appealing to Amazon as the company considers where to build its second headquarters, Smith said.

Hyperloop One will make its final decision on where to build its first route in late 2018 or early 2019. The company plans to complete construction on the route by 2021, according to its website.