A landslide vote (47-1) by the New York City Council has limited the permit for Madison Square Garden to just 10 years. The decision comes after the property owner’s – MSG Company - 50 year permit expired earlier this year, sparking a heated debate on whether or not the city should deny the owners request to renew the permit in perpetuity and envision plans for a new Penn Station.
Advocacy efforts, lead by the Municipal Art Society (MAS) and the Regional Plan Association under the campaign “The Alliance for a New Penn Station,” are largely based on the economic and transit-oriented potential of the site. According to the recent report released by MAS, the proposed Penn Station Redevelopment and Revenue Capture District could unlock the area’s economic and real estate value up to $1.3 billion.
In addition to this, many critics argue that “cramped, underground maze that is Penn Station” is both outdated and over-capacity, serving three times more passengers each day than when it opened a half-century ago. In order to correct this “daily public shame on the city,” as NYTimes critic Michael Kimmelman described, is to replace it with an updated, state-of-the-art station that is capable of handling the foreseeable increase of passengers that will come with the development of Hudson Yards and the third phase of the High Line.
Though MSG has a reluctant history of relocating, the owners are fighting for their rights to develop the land as they see fit and are expected to apply for a renewal when the next term is up.
In the meantime, officials and advocates are exploring the potential of a new Penn Station while considering the proposals that resulted from MAS’s design competition in which Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Josh Sirefman, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, SHoP Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) participated. See the radical proposals envisioned by these architects here on ArchDaily.
Reference: Untapped Cities