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

  1. #781
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    Well done. This doesn't mean MSG is booted in 10 years, it means they have to get a new license in 10 years. A 10 year renewal cycle is fair, and perhaps one day something can be done to expand the train station. At least now we're not stuck with no options to force the hand of MSG

  2. #782
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    Rebuilding Penn Station Becomes Issue in Mayor’s Race

    By CHARLES V. BAGLI

    It is hard to describe Pennsylvania Station, the nation’s busiest transit hub, as anything but a cramped rat’s nest, disorienting for the 600,000 passengers who pass through it every day and unworthy of a city that views itself as the international capital of finance and media.

    But for the first time since the demolition of the station’s original neo-Classical-style building to make way for Madison Square Garden a half-century ago, the seemingly starry-eyed notion of rebuilding Penn Station has landed in the middle of a mayoral race.

    Democratic candidates, including Christine C. Quinn, Bill de Blasio and John C. Liu, have called on the Garden to vacate its home atop the underground rail station so that a new structure can be built that would more safely accommodate transit riders and serve as a grand entry point to the city.

    Ms. Quinn and Mr. de Blasio have joined some of the city’s most prominent civic groups, which have long lamented the demise of the celebrated structure, in asking the city to approve a measure that would extend the Garden’s operating permit for only 10 years. That would provide enough time, they say, to find an alternative home for the Garden and to devise plans for an expanded Penn Station and the development of the surrounding neighborhood.

    The proposal has provoked stiff opposition from the owners of Madison Square Garden, with support from Joseph J. Lhota, a Republican candidate for mayor and a former executive vice president at the Garden, and William C. Thompson Jr., a Democrat who has tried to position himself as the pro-business candidate in a crowded Democratic field. They argue that the permit should be extended in perpetuity.

    The city should “leave the world’s most famous arena where it is,” Mr. Thompson said.

    There have been many unsuccessful efforts to rebuild Penn Station and it remains to be seen whether the current push builds momentum.

    Fixing Penn Station would be an enormously complicated undertaking that would cost billions of dollars and require the cooperation and approval of city, state and federal governments, as well as Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and the Postal Service. Indeed, there will be another race for mayor, and governor, before construction could even begin.

    To expand the capacity of the station to handle more trains, officials would need to buy another full city block to install additional tracks. The last attempt to address Penn Station collapsed five years ago, a $14 billion proposal by Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust to transform the station and move the Garden one block to the west. But it was undermined by a withering recession, a huge shortfall in public financing, political inertia and the oversized scope of the developers’ plan.

    That was when James L. Dolan, who controls the Garden and whose management has made him an unpopular figure among Knicks and Rangers fans, instead embarked on a $1 billion renovation of the arena. The Garden has sought to extend its special permit, which expired in January, to operate the arena in perpetuity.

    “We meet all required findings for a special permit and operate in a city where no sports arena or stadium has a time limit to its use,” Kimberly Kearns, a spokeswoman for the Garden, said.
    There is no question that Penn Station, which was designed for about 250,000 daily passengers, is overwhelmed. There are not enough exits and entrances to handle current crowds, let alone the continuing growth of rail travelers and commuters.

    “Everybody who uses the station, even occasionally, knows how unbearable Penn Station is,” said Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, a private group. “It’s become a safety issue. This 50-year experiment with putting the Garden on top of a train station doesn’t work.”

    That has only heightened the nostalgia for the old station, with its soaring Doric columns and 5,700-pound stone eagles, which was demolished in 1961 because of declining ridership and revenue. The land was sold to the Garden, then three-quarters of a mile to the north at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street. The underground station is owned by Amtrak.

    The Garden briefly considered moving its 5,600-seat theater, which is separate from the arena, to the James A. Farley Post Office Building, across Eighth Avenue. That would have allowed for an expansion of Penn Station and new entrances on Eighth Avenue, but the proposal never gained traction.

    Last winter, civic activists from the Regional Plan Association and the Municipal Art Society decided it was time to put Penn Station back in the public spotlight, after discovering that the Garden had to apply to extend its special permit. They expected to use the permit process to build publicity, but few of them expected it to become an issue in the mayor’s race.

    In February, Community Board 5, and later the borough president, called on the city to extend the Garden’s permit for 10 years, so that plans could be made for a new Penn Station, and a new arena elsewhere. But the City Planning Commission recommended a 15-year extension, although it provided what critics describe as a loophole: the city could further extend the permit without public review if the Garden and the transit operators agreed on a plan for improved access to the station.

    Last week, Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, called for the elimination of the loophole and a shorter limit on the permit, 10 years. Ms. Quinn also called for the creation of a Commission for a 21st Century Penn Station to find a new home for the Garden and to build a station that suits the needs of the people who use it.

    At Ms. Quinn’s urging, the Council sent the measure back to City Planning on Wednesday for modifications.

    The Garden has pushed back, insisting that the permit limitations are improper and would hurt its business.

    But even the most ardent advocates for a new Penn Station concede that little will happen unless both the mayor and the governor take the unusual step of agreeing to make it a priority and go to Washington for the money.

    “None of these things happen unless there is leadership at the top,” said Vin Cipolla, the president of the Municipal Art Society. “If the mayor is truly committed to seeing this through, then the probability goes up.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/n...l?ref=nyregion

  3. #783

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    And in ten years they'll tie it up in court for another 10 years.

  4. #784
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
    And in ten years they'll tie it up in court for another 10 years.
    Sure go right ahead and drag it to court, unfortunately in the meantime all Knicks, Rangers, and concert events must be cancelled due to lack of a valid operating permit. Have a nice day!

  5. #785

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    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    Sure go right ahead and drag it to court, unfortunately in the meantime all Knicks, Rangers, and concert events must be cancelled due to lack of a valid operating permit. Have a nice day!
    If the Dolans are stupid enough to cancel their cash cow, that's their perogitive.

    NYC has moved on, and we're planning for a future without that blight squatting over Penn Station. The Dolans better plan for a new site, or their teams will be playing at Barclays Center or Prudential Center.

    I can't wait for a new Penn Station, and for the related 6 million square feet of air rights.

  6. #786

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    They still own the station. There's nothing compelling them to improve it. They can do something with the development rights that has nothing to do with the station.

  7. #787
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    Actually, Amtrak owns the station

  8. #788

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
    They still own the station.
    They own the land, not the station. They would derive no revenue from station operations, and without an operating license, no MSG venue, no Knicks, and no Rangers. Doesn't seem like a good business model.

    They can do something with the development rights
    The only thing they can do with the development rights is transfer them off site. To do that requires city council approval, which they won't get unless they move.

    At some point in the future, when the construction debt is paid off, it will be beneficial for them to move MSG.

  9. #789

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
    They still own the station. There's nothing compelling them to improve it. They can do something with the development rights that has nothing to do with the station.
    They can't, though. The air rights are wasted as long as MSG sits in its current location. If they could unlock the rights, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. The rights could be sold, and the area could be redeveloped, leaving MSG at the current location.

    The whole reason MSG needs to move is to unlock the redevelopment potential of the area. They can't use the air rights without removing the Garden from its current site, and obviously you need the land for expanded Penn. The air rights are the whole economic justification behind the project, though.

    And it certainly doesn't hurt that the Dolans will lose their gigantic tax breaks. Every time you hear the "why are they trying to move a successful business" meme, remember that there are absolutely extraordinary tax benefits associated with the current site. They are essentially welfare queens, moreso than businessmen. I guarantee that once they're forced to move, they will try to move the tax breaks to the new site.

  10. #790

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    Let's not go overboard.

    MSG is a very successful business, and while no company wants to give up tax breaks, the approx $12 million per year is insignificant compared to the revenue stream. The arena, and the two sports franchises are among the most successful in the US. Calling them welfare queens is just ridiculous hyperbole.

    The air-rights are in the bank. When it's time to move, they'll still be there.

  11. #791
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    Madison Square Garden Is Told to Move

    By CHARLES V. BAGLI

    The New York City Council notified the arena that it has 10 years to vacate its 45-year-old premises and find a new home, the Garden’s fifth since it opened in 1879.

    By a vote of 47 to 1, the Council voted to extend the Garden’s special operating permit for merely a decade — not in perpetuity, as the owners of the Garden had requested, or 15 years, as the Bloomberg administration had intended.

    Ten years should be enough time, officials said, for the Garden to find a new location and for the city to devise plans for an expanded Pennsylvania Station, which currently sits below the Garden, and the redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood.

    “This is the first step in finding a new home for Madison Square Garden and building a new Penn Station that is as great as New York and suitable for the 21st century,” said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker. “This is an opportunity to reimagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination.”

    Ms. Quinn renewed her call for the creation of a commission to devise the plans.

    Civic leaders and some developers have long sought to rebuild Penn Station, a cramped and crowded maze for the more than 500,000 people a day who traverse it. But doing so would be an enormously complicated, multibillion-dollar undertaking that has foiled officials in the past. And anything can happen in the next 10 years, including several elections for mayor and governor.

    James L. Dolan, who controls the Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers, offered a low-key response to the news that barely acknowledged the 10-year deadline. Mr. Dolan expects to complete this fall a $968 million overhaul of the Garden, which has been closing in its off-seasons to accommodate the work.

    “Madison Square Garden has operated at its current site for generations, and has been proud to bring New Yorkers some of the greatest and most iconic moments in sports and entertainment,” Mr. Dolan’s company said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. “We now look forward to the reopening of the arena in the fall of 2013.”

    Mr. Dolan announced the latest renovation of the Garden in 2008, just after the last $14 billion effort to move the Garden and transform the train station collapsed amid a severe recession, insufficient financing, an absence of political leadership and overreaching by the developers selected for the job.

    Late last year, the Regional Plan Association and the Municipal Art Society used the Garden’s application for an extension of its permit to resurrect the idea. The Bloomberg administration recommended a 15-year extension. But that city proposal also allowed the city’s Planning Department to further extend the permit if officials failed to come up with plans for a new station, and the Garden and the transit operators agreed on a plan for improved access to the station.

    “Our goal from the outset was to improve Penn Station. In fact, our proposal would have required government leaders to come together and develop a plan to do just that,” said Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

    Critics derided the Bloomberg administration for including what they described as a loophole. Ms. Quinn, who is a Democratic candidate for mayor, called instead for a firm 10-year extension. Bill de Blasio and John C. Liu, two other candidates, also called on the Garden to move. Joseph J. Lhota, a Republican candidate and a former executive at the Garden, and William C. Thompson Jr., a Democrat, backed the Garden.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/ny...l?ref=nyregion

  12. #792

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    This is great news! I hope that the City landmarks the GD, so that the greedy a..hole "developers" don't start razing these structures in anticipation of a property boom in the area.

  13. #793

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    And so begins a ten year legal/political battle. I'm betting that MSG is staying right where it is, past the 10 year deadline.

  14. #794
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
    And so begins a ten year legal/political battle. I'm betting that MSG is staying right where it is, past the 10 year deadline.
    no doubt, with a solid chance of no more tax break in year 10, and a new arena in year 30

  15. #795

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    Or the relocation of The Theatre, which takes up the valuable 3-4 stories directly above the transit hall as well as the entire 8th avenue facade.

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