Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer today recommended that the City Planning Commission endorse a proposal to expand Penn Station by shifting the location of Madison Square Garden, Crain’s reported. In other words, Stringer would reject MSG’s request for a special land-use permit that would let the arena stay in its current location “in perpetuity.”
Rather, he supported a 10-year limit on the permit extension, which would allow developers and planners to brainstorm a plan to boost economic growth on the West Side. MSG’s permit to operate as an over 2,500-seat arena expired in January.
“It is time to build a more spacious, attractive station that’s going to encourage [mass] transportation use,” Stringer told Crain’s.
The limit would be an “unprecedented move” by City Planning, as no other city arena operates with a temporary location, Crain’s said. City Planning is slated hold a hearing on the recommendation on Apr. 10, with a City Council hearing to follow.
Manhattan Community Board 5 has said it wants MSG’s permit limited to 10 years.
A spokesperson for Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the stadium, said it was being “unfairly singled out” despite having invested $1 billion in the arena.
“Virtually all special permits are granted without artificial expirations,” the spokesperson told Crain’s. “Given these circumstances, we have the reasonable expectation that we will be treated like every other applicant.” [Crain’s] —Zachary Kussin