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

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

Exercising leads to more drinking — and we…

  We’re rewarding ourselves with more than dessert on days we exercise, according to a new study. On days when people exercise more, typically Thursday…

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…