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Thread: Madison Square Garden - 4 Penn Plaza - by Charles Luckman Associates

  1. #16

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    June 18, 2004

    Seeking Ideas, Garden Plans A Renovation

    By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

    Faced with the prospect of a football stadium rising along the far West Side of Manhattan, the owners of Madison Square Garden have prepared long-anticipated plans to modernize the bustling but aging arena, according to executives there.

    Madison Square Garden, which is owned by Cablevision, has requested architectural plans by the end of this month to fix up the existing space, and the request for proposals contains some of the most detailed plans yet for how the company wants to overhaul the arena. Chief among the additions would be dozens of luxury suites and boxes, new meeting spaces, a museum and hall of fame, a V.I.P. club and greatly expanded restaurant space.

    Cablevision has been at the forefront of a battle against plans to build a 75,000-seat stadium for the Jets as the cornerstone of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's push to revitalize the West Side and expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. In recent weeks, Cablevision has been squaring off against supporters of the stadium as both sides pour money into expensive advertising campaigns. James L. Dolan, who controls Cablevision, even went to Albany yesterday to lobby lawmakers against the stadium, said three people familiar with his visit.

    Cablevision officials made a point of saying yesterday that the company would redo the Garden without public financing, in contrast to the plans for the stadium, which would need $600 million in state and city dollars.

    "Madison Square Garden has started the process of a major renovation to create a state-of-the art facility and will do it without taxpayer money," said Barry Watkins, a spokesman for the Garden.

    Under the plans, the renovation, which would start in 2006, would be done in phases to minimize disruption of games and other events at the Garden, and would be completed by the 2008-9 season, the same time envisioned for the opening of a Jets stadium.

    The plans for the Garden still face hurdles, including necessary approvals from the city. In addition, Cablevision itself has had financial difficulties in recent years, and earlier this year Madison Square Garden laid off 80 workers, 3.5 percent of its work force. Analysts say, though, that the Garden has the money to complete the renovation.

    Garden officials are betting that any opposition will be mitigated by their promise to finance the renovation without public funds. (Under a tax exemption, however, the Garden has not paid any real estate taxes for 22 years.)

    Yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg's press secretary, Edward Skyler, declined to comment on Madison Square Garden's plans, but Mr. Bloomberg has been uncharacteristically critical of the Dolan family in the past. In an interview with a Newsday reporter this spring, he went out of his way to discuss a private conversation in which Mr. Dolan urged him to back off the stadium plan, and then the mayor mocked the Garden for its indecision about whether to renovate or find a new location.

    To make even minor improvements, the Garden would require at least one city permit and perhaps several, depending on the scope of the work. While the city cannot legally deny such permits, it is quite plausible that the Bloomberg administration would not put requests from Cablevision at the top of the Department of Buildings' in-box.

    "We really don't like to speculate," Ilyse Fink, a department spokeswoman, said of the time it takes to obtain a permit to alter a building. "We look at the plans and make a determination if they comply with the existing laws."

    Madison Square Garden, which has been at its current location for 35 years, has gone back and forth to the drawing board on its plans to modernize the complex. The Garden, one of the most heavily used arenas of its kind in the nation, lacks the luxury boxes, amenities and modern touches common in arenas in smaller cities.

    Paramount Communications, which owned the Garden in the late 1980's, considered a move to the West Side rail yards but decided that it would be too expensive. In 1999, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani proposed a sweeping plan for the far West Side that would include a new building for Madison Square Garden, but those plans went nowhere.

    A Canadian architectural company that has done business with Cablevision is a potential front-runner, said two people familiar with the plans.

    A reporter placed a call yesterday to that Toronto-based firm, Brisbin Brook Beynon, and asked to speak with the architect in charge of the Madison Square Garden renovation. The reporter was immediately connected to an architect who declined to comment.

    Matthew Higgins, a vice president of the Jets, said his company would support the stadium - sort of. "Unlike Cablevision, we support any business that also wants to invest in New York City," he said. "We think two world-class facilities in Manhattan would be better than one."

    Some sports experts agree. Marc Ganis, a sports consultant based in Chicago, said the Garden needed to renovate to compete not only with a proposed Jets stadium, but also with an arena planned in Brooklyn and other local sports venues. He added that it might make more sense for the Garden to move, since the court floor is elevated, which creates many costs.

    Mr. Ganis said there was ample chance for both sites to flourish financially, and wondered why the Garden has declared war on the Jets. "The thing that is so intriguing is that there are ways of the two stadiums coexisting quite well," he said.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    What were they thinking on this one. Awful... :x It didnt have anything special.

  4. #19
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    II looks great!

    III looks like cheap construction, and IV looks innovative for the time it was built.

    buty if they are thinking they are going to get something better by renovating the old design with "minimum diruption" of events, they are going to end up with crap.

    They need to totally reconstruct but they are worried about loosing their market share.


    Well, lets see what they have to offer, but I am not expecting much!

  5. #20
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    I, personally, have a problem with tax breaks for an arena full of luxury boxes.

  6. #21

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    November 11, 2004

    MSG hires architects for $300 million upgrade

    Madison Square Garden hired architectural firm Brisbin Brook Beynon to oversee the arena's planned $300 million renovation.

    The 36-year-old arena, which is home to the Knicks and Rangers, is due for a total face-lift, under a plan announced by the Garden in June 2003. Expected renovations, which are slated to start in 2006, include changes to the front of the house, including concourses, suites and seating; changes to the back of the house, including locker rooms and staging areas; and upgrades of sponsor opportunities.

    "We are using several hundred million dollars of our own money to reset the bar for venues in the 21st century," said Vice Chairman Hank Ratner in a statement-getting in a dig at the New York Jets, which is seeking city and state assistance to build a West Side stadium.

    Toronto-based Brisbin Brook, which was chosen from a pool of six firms, was in charge of building the Garden's 2-year-old training center in Greenburgh, N.Y. The firm has also renovated arenas in Calgary and Edmonton. Design firm Gensler was named associate architect, and Chicago-based Jones Lang Lasalle was appointed project manager.

    Madison Square Garden's announcement comes amid speculation that the city is looking to appease Cablevision with promises of a new arena, in order to win its support for a West Side stadium. Cablevision, which fears the competition for MSG that such a project would present, has mounted a fierce campaign against the arena.

    www.newyorkbusiness.com

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    You can enshrine a pile of dog crap in a gold cocoon. But, under that thin veneer it's still crap.

  8. #23
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Cablevision may move Madison Square Garden


    CUSHY JOB: Madison Square Garden
    owner Cablevision has called in Cushman &
    Wakefield for major work on the landmark
    arena, which could include a relocation,
    Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan indicated.



    By STEVE CUOZZO
    August 30, 2005

    Last year, Madison Square Garden's owner, Cablevision, tapped Jones Lang LaSalle as project manager for a long-awaited renovation to start next year a several hundred-million dollar job that will be the Garden's first significant overhaul since it opened in 1968 on the ruins of the old Penn Station.

    Now we've learned that Cablevision, while keeping JLL on the job, has also called in Cushman & Wakefield for a potentially more ambitious mission.

    Sources said Cushman's assignment is to advise Cablevision on bigger fish than mere renovation up to and including a move of the arena into the new Penn Station project on the west side of Eighth Avenue.

    "All options for the Garden are on the table," a source said.

    Related Cos. and Vornado were recently designated to convert the Farley Post Office into a new, regional rail hub named for the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and to include 850,000 square feet of new commercial space.

    No less a player than Cushman & Wakefield CEO Bruce Mosler is said to be spearheading the Garden assignment. Cushman uncharacteristically declined to comment an indication of how sensitive the matter is.

    Garden spokesman Barry Watkins would not comment on the JLL assignment and declined even to confirm the Cushman nod.

    But in a litte-noticed conference call with investors and media on Aug. 9, Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan said: "We're looking at the Farley building. We are studying it. We are still proceeding at the moment with our renovation for the current Garden site."


    Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Is it the intention of Madison Square Garden to wreck every McKim, Mead, and White classic?

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    They should knock down that dump and move it to the Westside Yards that they wanted to own a few months ago durning the Jets deal. Then we can construct a few nice 50 plus story office buildings over Penn Station. In that location, you could get anchor tenants in 5 minutes

  11. #26
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime
    Cablevision may move Madison Square Garden ... in a litte-noticed conference call with investors and media on Aug. 9, Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan said: "We're looking at the Farley building. We are studying it. We are still proceeding at the moment with our renovation for the current Garden site."
    Does Cablevision have any legal interest in the Farley building?

    Or didn't that die when the developer was chosen for the Farley site:

    from previous post http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/sh...&postcount=437 :

    "Separately, Cablevision chief executive James Dolan told analysts during the call that the company is "studying" the Farley Post Office Building in Manhattan, where a developer had proposed moving Madison Square Garden.

    The developer, Vornado Realty Trust, along with Related Cos., was chosen by the Empire State Development Corp. to transform Farley into the new Penn Station. Vornado had proposed moving the Garden into part of the facility as one of four options for the site. But Empire State Development selected another option."

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    There was the original possibility that the new Garden would be relocated to the annex behind the original Farley building. Both sections, I'm certain, are landmarked.

    The effect of the Garden moving to that site would be more along the lines of Hearst than old Penn Station, I suppose. Frankly, though, why didn't they consider THAT back in 1962?

  13. #28

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    Im sure Ive seen photos somewhere of the 1925-68 Madison Square Garden showing a rather ornate building. Im wondering if it had been stripped at some point during its 43 years. That top floor looks like an addition. Amazing that lot stood vacant well into the 80s.

    Next door you can see the late great Apollo movie theatre....

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    Garden III is a spectacular backdrop for the climactic scenes of the original The Manchurian Candidate.

  15. #30

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    September 12, 2005

    Madison Square Garden's Owners Are in Talks to Replace It, a Block West

    By CHARLES V. BAGLI


    The first two Madison Square Gardens stood at Madison Avenue and 26th Street.


    After a third Garden occupied a site farther uptown, the current one opened atop Pennsylvania Station in 1968.

    The owners of Madison Square Garden, the arena that traces its origins back to P. T. Barnum 131 years ago and became the site of New York City's most famous boxing matches and basketball games, are in talks with two developers to build its fifth incarnation, a block west of its current home atop Pennsylvania Station.

    If the project moves forward, a new Garden will rise at the western end of the James A. Farley Post Office, according to executives who have been briefed on the negotiations between the Garden and the developers Stephen M. Ross, chairman of Related Companies, and Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust. The Farley Post Office, bordered by Eighth and Ninth Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets, is being transformed into a grand new transit hub to be called Moynihan Station.

    The new Garden, which would remain home to the Rangers and the Knicks, would improve on the arena's cramped and inefficient quarters by featuring wide concourses with stores and restaurants, luxury boxes with better sight lines for basketball and hockey games, a museum and a hall of fame.

    Like the three prior incarnations of the Garden, the existing arena, which sits like a giant doughnut amid the Penn Plaza office complex between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, would be demolished. It would be replaced by skyscrapers containing a mix of luxury apartments, office space and stores.

    Mr. Roth, who owns many of the office buildings and stores surrounding the Garden, and Mr. Ross, the most active developer in the city, were selected in July to turn the Farley Post Office into a $930 million train and subway gateway to the city. The hub would be an extension of Penn Station, which lies below the Garden.

    "It's almost a precondition that the Garden has to move for Penn Plaza to fulfill its destiny as a first-class office center," said Mary Ann Tighe, chief executive of CB Richard Ellis in New York and a former real estate adviser to the Garden. "It's logical that a great transportation hub like Pennsylvania Station be surrounded by some of the city's great office towers."

    But just as the Garden is steeped in the city's history, the decision to relocate is tangled in political intrigue.

    In 2003 and 2004, the Bloomberg administration urged the Garden, which is owned by Cablevision and controlled by Charles and James Dolan, to move either three blocks west to the 12th Avenue railyards or to the post office site, in the hope of silencing the Dolans' opposition to a stadium for the Jets over the railyards.

    Instead, the Dolans announced in June 2004 that they would spend more than $300 million renovating the Garden, pointedly declaring that unlike the Jets, they would do so "without taxpayer money." They also poured tens of millions of dollars into television ads depicting the ill-fated $2.2 billion stadium as the mayor's folly. In a battle of the billionaires, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg blasted back, describing the Dolans as selfish and greedy.

    The stadium project ultimately failed to gain support in the State Legislature and died this June, shortly before Mr. Ross and Mr. Roth were selected to develop Moynihan Station. It was not long before the developers renewed their effort to lure the Garden westward.

    "It's ironic that Cablevision may come out of this a double winner, not only defeating the Jets, but achieving an optimal location," Ms. Tighe said.

    The talks are at an early stage, and neither side wants to talk publicly about the project. A spokesman for Mr. Roth said that "he never comments during negotiations."

    But according to executives who know of the discussions, the issues include how much money the developers would pay for the property, a sum that could easily exceed $500 million, and whether the Garden would get a stake in the new skyscrapers. There is also a question of whether a new Garden could be shoehorned into the existing post office annex on Ninth Avenue, or require demolition and a new building.

    The developers, who envision gleaming new towers and glass canopies over Penn Station, contend that a new commercial and residential district will emerge if the Garden vacates its site, the executives said. The city would gain jobs and tax revenues, since the Garden has a property tax exemption that is worth more than $10 million a year.

    Still, the Garden's owners are not taking any chances. They continue to pursue plans for a renovation.

    Any plans to move the Garden and redevelop its current site would require city approval.

    The idea of moving the Garden off its current location is not new.

    Eighteen years ago, Paul Reichmann, a Canadian real estate tycoon who headed Olympia & York, then the city's largest commercial landlord, put together a $2.5 billion deal to move the Garden to the railyards and build new set of skyscrapers designed by Frank Gehry on the existing site. Mr. Reichmann viewed the Far West Side as Manhattan's last frontier.

    But ultimately, the Garden, then owned by Gulf and Western, scuttled the deal, saying it was too expensive and too risky to move away from Penn Station.

    The Garden's peripatetic existence is but one example of how some of the city's public spaces often succumbed to private real estate deals.

    In 1874, P. T. Barnum opened Barnum's Monster Classical and Geological Hippodrome in an old train depot at Madison Avenue and 26th Street. He was succeeded by another impresario, Patrick S. Gilmore, who took over the building in 1876 and renamed it Gilmore's Garden. Then, in 1879, William H. Vanderbilt took control of the building and christened it Madison Square Garden.

    Mr. Vanderbilt focused on sports rather than oddities, creating a track for competitive cycling, building the first artificial ice rink in North America and sponsoring boxing exhibitions with John L. Sullivan. He knocked the building down in 1889, replacing it with an entertainment hall designed by McKim, Mead & White. It had the country's largest auditorium, a concert hall and cabaret, becoming home to the National Horse Show, the Westminster Kennel Club show, boxing matches, bicycle races, circuses and rodeos.

    But in 1925, Garden II was demolished to make way for the headquarters of New York Life Insurance. A new Garden opened uptown, at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, becoming famous for boxing, college basketball's National Invitation Tournament and the New York Knicks. Sonja Henie took her Hollywood Ice Revue there in 1938. But the building had poor sight lines and few amenities. (It is now the site of the Worldwide Plaza office tower.)

    It was replaced in 1968 by the current Garden, a circular arena atop Pennsylvania Station. It was here that Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali on points in 1971, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon presided over the marriages of 2,075 couples in 1982, and the Rangers won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup championship in 1994.



    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by Kris; September 12th, 2005 at 10:08 AM.

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