Stringer pushes to move Madison Square Garden from atop Penn Station

Penn Station
Commuters crowded through Penn Station Wednesday. (Credit: Miles Dixon)

Penn Station and Madison Square Garden might be on notice.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer announced today that he wants a master plan for the area, which he called a “confusing, subterranean, three-level maze.”

And he blamed Madison Square Garden for stifling what could be the glory of a bustling, spacious midtown station — without having to support the structure of MSG, he said, Penn Station would have more space to grow.

MSG has requested a permit to operate the arena “in perpetuity,” Stringer said. But the home of Knicks games and sold-out concerts should only have the space for 10 years at a time, Stringer said.

The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing April 10 on Madison Square Garden’s permit application.

Stringer said the Garden should stay in Manhattan, but suggested moving the arena.

“It is time to build a more spacious, attractive and efficient station that will further encourage transit use, reduce driving into the city and spur economic growth throughout our city and our region,” Stringer said.

The station’s daily use has tripled since it was approved for its midtown home – about 640,000 riders go through daily, which exceeds its capacity, Stringer said.

Plans are in the works to change the James A. Farley Post Office across the street into more station space, extending Amtrak under Eighth Avenue.

But because of Madison Square Garden, support columns limit how much the tracks can be expanded, Stringer said.

Stringer also noted that more trains will be coming through Penn Station in coming years, such as extending the 7 line through the Hudson Yards development.

“If we aren’t prepared to accommodate these trains, the station will become increasingly congested, and that will not only hurt the economy of New York City, but the entire region,” Stringer said.

Stringer isn’t alone in his distaste for the station – last week, the Regional Plan Association and the Municipal Art Society said MSG should be moved.

“Penn Station has never been a magnet for West Midtown,” the groups noted.

A Madison Square Garden spokesman said the venue should be granted the special permit without an expiration date and noted that the company invested $1 billion in the arena, which supports thousands of jobs.

“Adding an arbitrary expiration for reasons unrelated to the special permit process or requirements would not only set a dangerous and questionable precedent, but would also hinder our ability to make MSG and New York City the long-term home of even more world-class events,” he said.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…