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

  1. #706


    Geez, another Kimmelman pipedream. He should not venture into politics. Stick to architecture. Yes, Michael, we know the building is ugly.

    The City Council doesn't decide if MSG keeps its real estate tax abatement. That has to happen in Albany.

    Back in 2005, State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D- Brooklyn) co-sponsored the bill that would end the MSG exemption. This was during the highly charged West Side Stadium debate. It went nowhere.

    This is what Cymbrowitz thinks today:
    When I asked Cymbrowitz whether he still supported rolling back the tax abatement, he said, "At this point, no. I don't think rescinding the tax would do anything. It wouldn't accomplish anything."

    He went on to say M.S.G. "has been and remains an important part of New York City," and "It's really done well for New York City."
    Last month Forbes moved the Knicks up to the #1 franchise in the NBA.

    I don't see any political will to turn this into a big fight. The realistic thing that the City Council should do is try to get MSG to do something meaningful with the exterior in exchange for the signage rights. Get rid of that awful junk on 8th Ave.

  2. #707


    I think I can wait another 10 years. I'm curious to know what'll go on this site, transit wise, once these buildings get demolished(unless they plan to move all of their operations to Moynihan, by then).

  3. #708


    The best realistic chance for Penn Station is the 8th Avenue facade. The city should strive for a compromise that allows for some signage in return for removing the ugly 8th Ave podium and replacing it with an opening for Penn Station.

  4. #709


    I really hope that this POS is razed and that the rest of this area is landmarked.

  5. #710
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    CB 5 Recommends Denial of Proposed MSG Special Permit Application

    By Gus Delaporte

    At a meeting last night, Community Board 5 in Manhattan unanimously recommended a proposed special permit application from Madison Square Garden to operate an arena with more than 2,500 seats be denied unless certain parameters are met, Wally Rubin, district manager, told The Commercial Observer this morning.

    “Just to be clear, this isn’t about any frustrations or lack of understanding that the Garden is an important part of New York and is an economic driver for the City,” added Raju Mann, acting chair of CB5’s Land Use Committee.

    The Garden is currently going through New York’s uniform land use review procedure (ULURP) to renew the special permit.

    The Garden’s original special permit expired last month and the arena is currently operating under a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. The TCO is standard while a building is under construction, according to a Madison Square Garden spokesperson.

    In order to support a special permit for the Garden, CB5 is asking it be restricted to 10 years to allow for careful planning for the futures of both the arena and Penn Station, according to Mr. Rubin. The Garden is requesting the permit, which was issued when the building was constructed in 1968, be renewed in perpetuity.

    “If we grant the permit in perpetuity, we take off pressure to engage in a discussion that needs to happen,” Mr. Mann said.

    The board is also requesting any signage at the Garden be limited to its original parameters and not expanded, Mr. Rubin said. The Garden has requested permission to expand digital signage outside the building up to 17,300 square feet, according to reports.

    Community Board 5 would also like to see the elimination of the Garden’s tax abatement, which has been in place since the early 1980s, Mr. Rubin said. City Council previously voted to eliminate the tax abatement in 2008.

    Lastly, the board is asking any proposed improvements to Penn Station are not precluded as part of any approval for the Madison Square Garden block. “What we are saying is: we need a world class sports arena and we need a world class train terminal and one should not preclude the other,” Mr. Rubin said.

    Penn Station is currently insufficient to handle the amount of daily traffic it receives, according to Mr. Mann. “We have to keep our eye on the prize, which is really the transportation for the region, and how we improve that and we see that as the fundamental goal,” he said.

    The request for a 10-year permit is an attempt to allow the Garden to amortize the investment in renovations the arena is currently making, according to Mr. Rubin. The Madison Square Garden Company is funding a three phase renovation process at the arena. The third phase is set to be completed prior to the 2013-14 National Hockey League and National Basketball Association seasons. Currently, the Garden is the oldest arena in the NHL and second-oldest in the NBA.

    “They can keep pouring money into it, but wouldn’t it be better for all of us to have a state of the art arena? Especially with Barclays, why should it be second class?” Mr. Rubin questioned.
    The Garden is currently in the 60-day community board review portion of ULURP. The next stage is Borough President review, followed by the City Planning Commission Review, and lastly City Council review.

  6. #711
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    Madison Square Garden, Permit Lapsed, Faces New Planning Pressure


    Madison Square Garden Zoning Text Amendment Environmental Impact Statement
    The Eighth Avenue facade of Madison Square Garden as it would appear with new signage sought by the Madison Square Garden Company.

    Madison Square Garden has been operating without a zoning permit for three weeks and will keep doing so in the near future.

    David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
    Detail of the James A. Farley Building, across Eighth Avenue from Madison Square Garden.

    On Jan. 24, 1963, the Board of Estimate — then the city’s most powerful governing body — granted a special permit to allow construction of a new Madison Square Garden arena, with 22,000 seats, directly atop the Pennsylvania Station passenger concourse. The permit was required, in part, because the arena exceeded the 2,500-seat limit that zoning rules imposed on the site. It was to set to expire 50 years after approval.

    Yes, for those doing the math at home: The expiration date has come and gone.

    Now, the Garden is not in violation of the city’s zoning law. It has already applied for an indefinite extension of its permit, and the Buildings Department has been granting temporary certificates of occupancy.

    The Madison Square Garden Company, which is headed by James L. Dolan, said in a statement on Tuesday, “We fully expect to continue to operate the arena in the ordinary course.”

    The expiration of the permit is more than a matter of administrative arcana, however. It has been seized on by advocates of a comprehensive planning process for Penn Station and the Garden.

    They want the City Planning Commission to use the permit renewal as leverage to compel serious discussion about moving the arena to a new site, and getting it off the top of the train station — an idea that surfaces and sinks again with some regularity.

    “We shouldn’t just resign ourselves to the status quo,” Raju Mann, the acting chairman of the land use committee of Community Board 5, said in an interview.

    On Thursday, as the Garden’s application began its journey through the city’s land-use procedure, Community Board 5 voted 36 to 0, with one abstention, to deny the permit extension, as well as the Garden’s accompanying request to install much larger signage on the Eighth Avenue facade.

    Instead, the board proposed that the permit be extended only for 10 years, enough time for a thoughtful plan to be developed, but not so much time as to allow Garden executives and city officials to ignore or shrug off the idea. The board said it believed that a new arena at a different location would be “in the long-term interests of the tens of millions of people who travel through Penn Station every year,” as well as nearby property owners, New York City generally and the region as a whole.

    The Madison Square Garden Company said in its application (PDF) that large new promotional and advertising signs would “enliven and enrich the public experience” in the surrounding area “by creating a visual connection between the indoor activity and outside, thus expanding the excitement of the Garden into the streetscape.”

    David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
    Community Board 5 said it was “concerned about the visual impact of new illuminated signage” installed
    at Madison Square Garden on the facade of the James A. Farley Building, across Eighth Avenue.

    The community board said it opposed the signage because the large new LED billboards would be directly across Eighth Avenue from the landmark James A. Farley Building, a monumental post office with a noble neo-Classical colonnade. The board said the presence of more advertising around the Eighth Avenue entrances to Penn Station — which are hard enough for newcomers to find unaided — “would likely confuse travelers and make this neighborhood even more difficult to navigate.”

    Robert D. Yaro, the president of the Regional Plan Association, a private organization, said in an interview: “I have this old-fashioned idea that New Yorkers are entitled to having a world-class arena in Manhattan and a world-class train station. We’ve demonstrated convincingly that you can’t have both of these on the same site.” He said that a shorter extension of the special permit was a “pretty good idea” as a planning measure.

    The architecture critic of The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman, made a similar point in a Critic’s Notebook on Wednesday.

    On the other hand, the planning agency noted in a statement this week that a permit without a time limit would be “typical of virtually all special permits granted by the City Planning Commission in recent years.”

    But neither a spokeswoman for Madison Square Garden Company nor a spokeswoman for the City Planning Commission would directly answer the question of why an indefinite permit was necessary.

    David W. Dunlap/The New York Times
    Madison Square Garden as it appears now.

    [The full text of the commission's resolution from Jan. 16, 1963, is available as a PDF. It is No. 9 on the calendar. Included is the rationale by which the commission refused to take into account the fact that building the Garden would mean razing the original Penn Station. "Whatever the merits of preserving and protecting privately owned buildings by virtue of their special historic, architectural or esthetic importance," the commission said, "the Zoning Resolution is not now an instrument for such protection."]

  7. #712


    Faint hint of hope in the air. The big question is where will MSG go. I thought the post office site was ideal. Javits? Governor's Island if they could extend the 2nd Avenue subway? Fat chance in a city that can't even keep its streets clean.

  8. #713


    The smelly backside in question...

    John Glines

  9. #714
    Forum Veteran
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    Feb 2008
    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post

    obviously a shameless overemphasis on natural light, but spectacular none the less

  10. #715


    That would be very nice. Those towers are beautiful, but I'd take the modern station instead any day because a major train station is the gateway to the city. Pity it is just a stupid dream and that rendering has been floating around for years!

  11. #716


    They should build a new Garden in LIC.

  12. #717
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Brooklyn, planet Earth


    It's hard to conceptualize removing the last remaining pro sports venue in Manhattan, but I won't deny the logic behind doing so. LIC is an interesting thought but the location would need to be in close to proximity to a transportation hub, which doesn't seem feasible any longer given the run on development in the area over the past 5-10 years. Something in the Jamaica or Flushing area seems more doable.

  13. #718


    I think a new convention center and arena by the 7 would be great. Once Sheldon Silver retires, maybe we could have a casino there too.

  14. #719


    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynLove View Post
    It's hard to conceptualize removing the last remaining pro sports venue in Manhattan, but I won't deny the logic behind doing so. LIC is an interesting thought but the location would need to be in close to proximity to a transportation hub, which doesn't seem feasible any longer given the run on development in the area over the past 5-10 years. Something in the Jamaica or Flushing area seems more doable.
    neither LIC, flushing or jamaica would ever house MSG. its going to stay in midtown.

  15. #720
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    May 2007
    New York City


    The rail yard west of 11th is still free.

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