How Low Will the 7 Line Go?
The one-stop extension of the 7 Line to 34th Street makes sense...for now. Such was the sentiment of M.T.A. chairman Joe Lhota, speaking at the Regional Plan Association’s 22nd annual regional assembly. Lhota said that he would like to see the subway line stretch “all the way down to 23rd Street, and the West Side Highway, so we can incorporate that portion of the west side that's not receiving a whole lot of coverage.” An additional southern extension of the 7 Line would open up areas of Manhattan, which have historically been underserved by mass transit, to a key crosstown subway line.
In the last several years, the neighborhoods below the Hudson Yards, from 14th to 31st Street, has seen a significant rise in residential development, due in part to the opening of the High Line and rezoning of industrial blocks. Investment in luxury residences, unique office spaces like the IAC Center, and Chelsea Piers demonstrate the area’s long-term commercial investments. To that end, in 2011, Google announced that it was purchasing a 2.9 million sq. ft., full-block office building at 15th Street and 9th Avenue for its New York City headquarters. Further south, the cosmopolitan Meatpacking District already enjoys some of the most exclusive shops, bars, restaurants, and hotels the city has to offer. Extending the 7 Line south to these areas seems like a natural next step for the MTA.