‘PENN 15’ skyscraper funding goes flaccid in state budget deal

They just can’t get it up.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid to erect 10 new skyscrapers around Penn Station — including one with the eyebrow-raising name of “PENN 15” — may have shriveled under the state budget deal reached by the governor and legislative leaders on Tuesday.

Language in the budget bill set for approval Tuesday authorizes a $1.3 billion loan to fund Cuomo’s “Empire State Complex” revamp of the railway hub — but explicitly restricts use of the money to transportation.

Instead of being spent on land for new office towers, the money “shall only be used in furtherance of [expanding Penn Station] or other transportation improvement projects and not for above-grade development,” according to the bill.

Cuomo’s years-old vision would demolish much of the neighborhood surrounding Penn Station and Madison Square Garden to make way for supertall skyscrapers — in part by classifying the area as a “blighted slum.”

At 1,216 feet, PENN 15, located at 15 Penn Plaza, would be the development’s centerpiece. The project would be led by Vornado Realty Trust, which is owned by Cuomo donor Steven Roth.

But state funding for now will be limited to the effort to remodel and expand track capacity Penn Station — satisfying state legislators opposed to Cuomo’s above-ground vision.

Neighborhood opponents have accused Cuomo’s development push of being indifferent to local input.

State officials have said they plan to move through the project without a “ULURP,” or Uniform Land Use Review Procedure — a standardized process for public review of projects in the city.

“I am extremely concerned about a project of this magnitude — larger than even Hudson Yards — somehow being approved without local consultation and planning,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman told The Post.

Hoylman called Cuomo’s plan “another giveaway to developers.”

“With a vacancy rate at over 17 percent in Midtown we need to think about creating jobs, not employee office space,” he said.

The MTA has said Penn Station — which is notoriously cavernous and dingy — can be renovated and improved without relocating Madison Square Garden, which sits right on top of the bustling transit hub.

Credit: NYPOST

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