Bloomberg rules out eminent domain for MSG

Michael Bloomberg and Madison Square Garden
Michael Bloomberg and Madison Square Garden

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is leaning toward moving Madison Square Garden from its Midtown perch but by using the permitting process — not eminent domain, Crain’s reported.

Bloomberg laid out his position yesterday, just before the Department of City Planning proposed a 15-year permit for the venue to stay in its space on top of Penn Station, at roughly 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue.

The building wants a special permit to operate indefinitely. Its permit expired in January. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and a handful of civic groups are pushing for a restricted permit, to expedite an expansion of Penn Station.

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“Fundamentally, I would like to leave businesses alone,” Bloomberg said at a news conference. “Having said that, there are public purposes.”

The mayor warned residents to not get too sentimental because the city needs a new transportation hub.

“One of the problems is that people remember the old Penn Station, and sadly we ripped it down, and they would like to resurrect that,” Bloomberg said, as reported by Crain’s. “I’m not sure how practical that is in this day and age.” [Crain’s]Mark Maurer