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Madison Square Garden Permit Renewal

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Old
07-18-2013, 12:37 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by CptKirk View Post
True. And they were ready to move until the city dicked them over. And then, the arena being private property, they decided to stay. And in this country, a city cannot just say, "nope, ours, you're not allowed to use it anymore" without paying fair market value. We enshrined that principle into our Constitution. And make no mistake, that's what denying the permit without compensating MSG would be doing. And when you're paying MSG fair market value for an immensely profitable arena, as situated on incredibly valuable real estate in Manhattan (because you don't just get to pretend there are no improvements on the site) you're running to what? 5 billion dollars? 10? Plus years of litigation? Why not just build a new station, or dig out the underground infrastructure to handle more people? Tricky, but a couple billion can go a long way.

Just give them the indefinite permit. Nothing lasts forever in NYC, but the city doesn't get to decide when private property owners have to call it quits without paying them fair value.
The problem with that is that parcel of land in Manhattan was originally Penn Station. The MSG Corp owns the air/development rights above the train station; however, it's a public train station first and foremost. I'm not sure who exactly retains ownership of the land parcel itself. It was the Pennsylvania Railroad, then the Penn-Central Corp (who sold the air development rights), and I'm not sure what happened in the 1970s when the Penn-Central went into bankruptcy. Either way, the functionality of the public train station takes precedence over the private development in the public scope.

In order to bring the station up to the latest standards/regulations/requirements, they need to increase platform length & width. You can't really do any upgrades/rehab on public areas w/o making it accessible to all persons (the Feds are really cracking down on ADA regulations and making people conform to the newest PROWAG [Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines]), and this is the reason why you see a lot of municipalities/DOTs/etc ripping out their curb ramps and installing new ones. The layout of the rails/platforms in Penn Station is the same as it was in 1910 when it was opened, and hasn't been modified since. Needless to say, they're not up to modern standards.

In order to support the loading of a 9+ story arena and massive office towers, gigantic piles (columns) had to be sunk through the existing platforms and down into bedrock, otherwise the area would collapse into the station below it. Since the arena & office towers are supported by those columns, it's impossible to move them without causing irreparable damage to the structures above ground or completely blocking the movement of trains below ground. Unfortunately, the tracks for Penn Station would have to be relocated to where those columns are currently located in order to provide the minimum platform width required by the federal government. This is a complete non-starter for any improvements.

The only feasible way to adequately provide the necessary space required to operate a train station is to relocate the MSG & demolish the other buildings above Penn Station, proceed with the track realignment & platform upgrades, build new support piles, and then redevelop the space located above Penn Station. It might seem like sacrilege to move MSG (for the 4th time), but it can be moved, and it can be placed in a location that works better for everyone in NYC. If you think they should move the station instead, do you really think you can relocate the railroad that passes underneath the current MSG? You will probably have an easier time surviving 10 minutes as a snowball in hell. There's talk of "moving" the station to the Farley Post Office building across the street, but that would only be the ingress/egress points of the station, as the existing platforms would remain in the same location and would not be altered in any real way. Since it would be in the best interests of the public, and used as public space, the City (and/or State) of New York is well within their rights to use Eminent Domain to condemn the existing MSG, pay fair market value (which will be a ton of $$ like you said, but has to be rooted in reality, so my guess would be north of $1B), help aid the current property owners relocate, and demolish the structure for the public works project. As long as the arena is located near the current site, they would not be able to site a loss of revenue to try to get a larger sum from the government, as the #'s wouldn't really change. Knowing that the City/State has that nuclear option, I have a feeling MSG & the powers that be will come to a settlement beforehand that would work in all groups best interest. Perhaps this time, the city will be willing to go part-way w/ granting the tax break that killed the original MSG move in the 2000s or grant MSG some of the windfall from the new development that would be above the rehabed Penn Station.

But what would I know, I'm only a Civil Engineer that does this kind of thing for a living...

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07-18-2013, 04:09 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by Fighter of Foo View Post

The only feasible way to adequately provide the necessary space required to operate a train station is to relocate the MSG & demolish the other buildings above Penn Station, proceed with the track realignment & platform upgrades, build new support piles, and then redevelop the space located above Penn Station. It might seem like sacrilege to move MSG (for the 4th time), but it can be moved, and it can be placed in a location that works better for everyone in NYC. If you think they should move the station instead, do you really think you can relocate the railroad that passes underneath the current MSG? You will probably have an easier time surviving 10 minutes as a snowball in hell. There's talk of "moving" the station to the Farley Post Office building across the street, but that would only be the ingress/egress points of the station, as the existing platforms would remain in the same location and would not be altered in any real way. Since it would be in the best interests of the public, and used as public space, the City (and/or State) of New York is well within their rights to use Eminent Domain to condemn the existing MSG, pay fair market value (which will be a ton of $$ like you said, but has to be rooted in reality, so my guess would be north of $1B), help aid the current property owners relocate, and demolish the structure for the public works project. As long as the arena is located near the current site, they would not be able to site a loss of revenue to try to get a larger sum from the government, as the #'s wouldn't really change. Knowing that the City/State has that nuclear option, I have a feeling MSG & the powers that be will come to a settlement beforehand that would work in all groups best interest. Perhaps this time, the city will be willing to go part-way w/ granting the tax break that killed the original MSG move in the 2000s or grant MSG some of the windfall from the new development that would be above the rehabed Penn Station.

But what would I know, I'm only a Civil Engineer that does this kind of thing for a living...
great insight, thank you. a question though since you seem to be more well versed on this subject than all of us here. since the points of access will be moving across the street to the post office, why cant the platforms be rebuilt and expanded upon under the post office? is that feasible at all?

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07-18-2013, 04:57 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Fighter of Foo View Post

The only feasible way to adequately provide the necessary space required to operate a train station is to relocate the MSG & demolish the other buildings above Penn Station, proceed with the track realignment & platform upgrades, build new support piles, and then redevelop the space located above Penn Station. It might seem like sacrilege to move MSG (for the 4th time), but it can be moved, and it can be placed in a location that works better for everyone in NYC. If you think they should move the station instead, do you really think you can relocate the railroad that passes underneath the current MSG? You will probably have an easier time surviving 10 minutes as a snowball in hell. There's talk of "moving" the station to the Farley Post Office building across the street, but that would only be the ingress/egress points of the station, as the existing platforms would remain in the same location and would not be altered in any real way. Since it would be in the best interests of the public, and used as public space, the City (and/or State) of New York is well within their rights to use Eminent Domain to condemn the existing MSG, pay fair market value (which will be a ton of $$ like you said, but has to be rooted in reality, so my guess would be north of $1B), help aid the current property owners relocate, and demolish the structure for the public works project. As long as the arena is located near the current site, they would not be able to site a loss of revenue to try to get a larger sum from the government, as the #'s wouldn't really change. Knowing that the City/State has that nuclear option, I have a feeling MSG & the powers that be will come to a settlement beforehand that would work in all groups best interest. Perhaps this time, the city will be willing to go part-way w/ granting the tax break that killed the original MSG move in the 2000s or grant MSG some of the windfall from the new development that would be above the rehabed Penn Station.

But what would I know, I'm only a Civil Engineer that does this kind of thing for a living...
Nobody's arguing that the city doesn't have the right to use eminent domain. In fact, that's precisely what MSG IS arguing. Denying the permit renewal would be a way to try and do a backdoor around eminent domain to avoid paying compensation- and in MSG's estimation, and mine, that would not be anywhere close to legal. If they tried, MSG would drag it out in court for a decade, and NYC would probably wind up having to pay market compensation. And the city nixing the tax break for a new location is exactly why they stayed where they are- and unless promised to a future venue, the value of that would probably have to be added to the fair market compensation.

In terms of cost, MSG just spent a billion dollars of their own money renovating the arena. They'll make it back, easy. Add to that the tax break, and fair market value for that building as it stands is probably several billion, not north of $1 Billion. It's worth more than that- if you were going to buy that building today, tax breaks in place, stupidly accessible location on top of a transit hub, biggest city in the world, refurbished to be state of the art, and you can fill it with any act in the world, one or even two a day. Cranks out enough money that it can make billion dollar investments. You don't buy that kind of a venue for just 1 billion plus. You're talking at least 3. That's fair market value- it's almost certainly the world's most valuable arena.

MSG is a very profitable proposition, we ain't talking demolishing a few 5 story walkups. Think you can find a way to rebuild an underground station, or move it across the street for 3 billion or so, plus the $500 million or so they'd probably be expecting to spend even if they could tear MSG down with no cost? That's quite a lot of money- if you think creatively, which a lot of civil engineers are used to doing in New York, I'm betting it can be done. If you want to expand Penn for $500 million, no, you couldn't do it without forcing MSG to move. But if forcing MSG to move is going to sink $2 or 3 billion, why not just spend that on building or moving the station instead? You wouldn't be able to use conventional methods. But a billion dollars can buy unconventional methods.

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07-19-2013, 03:33 PM
  #79
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True. And they were ready to move until the city dicked them over.
Not really true; it was more the opposite. MSG pulled out of the plan, making it unfeasible.

Quote:
One thing I'm confused about is how would the city rejecting their permit be imminent domain? It's not like they are taking the property, right? They're pretty much saying, "You can't use it for hockey, basketball, and other events. You could still own it, though." Am I wrong?
The concept is known as a regulatory taking. A property owner can sue for it when the government has by regulation or physical appropriation of the property denied the landowner their basic private property rights (the right to possess, exclude others, and dispose of the property) or denied all reasonable economic use of the property.

In this case, were MSG to sue, it would be with the latter argument. I'm honestly not sure what the courts would find in this case. I haven't found anything that is a direct precedent. Denying the permit certainly does not deny the property owner of all reasonable economic use; it's still an extremely accessible parcel in one of the most valuable real estate areas in the world. It does, of course, eliminate the current use of the property which is as an entertainment venue for up to 20,000 people. That is not due to the nature of the property itself though but rather what was constructed on it, and I'm not sure if the protection extends to that or not. The permit has been a requirement from the beginning. The arena was built and later renovated with that knowledge. The city isn't taking away a right; it's a right the property owner never had to begin with but was granted temporarily through permit. It would be an interesting case. I highly doubt either part wants this thing to end up in the courts.


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07-19-2013, 03:36 PM
  #80
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This thread reminds me why I love NYC. Only NYC would have an argument over where to put the busiest train station in the world at.

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07-19-2013, 03:39 PM
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This thread reminds me why I love NYC. Only NYC would have an argument over where to put the busiest train station in the world at.
If only Manhattan wasn't so damn small.

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07-19-2013, 03:39 PM
  #82
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Penn Station is not even in the top 100 busiest train stations in the world.

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07-19-2013, 03:43 PM
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people in North America don't really use trains like they do in the rest of the world, so it sort of follows logically that our busiest train station is way down the global list.

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07-19-2013, 05:04 PM
  #84
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If only Manhattan wasn't so damn small.
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Originally Posted by Gotta Catch Em Staal View Post
Penn Station is not even in the top 100 busiest train stations in the world.
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people in North America don't really use trains like they do in the rest of the world, so it sort of follows logically that our busiest train station is way down the global list.
My Bad. Still though. I wish Manhattan wernt so small or that Atlantic Terminal could be expanded.

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07-24-2013, 04:02 PM
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Update on the permit approval:
http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york...1.5759534?qr=1

Quote:
The City Council on Wednesday voted to approve a permit that would allow Madison Square Garden Co. to operate its namesake arena above Penn Station for 10 years instead of the longer period that the owners had requested.

The vote -- 47 to 1 in favor -- gives the federal, state and local governments time to find a new home for the Garden so that Penn Station can be improved and comes after a subcommittee last month agreed on the permit's length of time.
This should set up an interesting legal battle that will probably drag on for years

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07-24-2013, 06:14 PM
  #86
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Penn Station is not even in the top 100 busiest train stations in the world.
So? Eighty-two out of 100 stations are in Japan. Not surprising since it has a high population density.

How about finding a list of the most used train stations in North America? Not that it really matters--Penn Station's problems aren't going away.

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07-24-2013, 06:23 PM
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What do you mean so? I was simply responding to an incorrect statement that Penn Station is the busiest train station in the world. It is definitely the busiest in North America.

47 to 1; certainly not a contentious vote. It will be very interesting to see how MSG responds.

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07-24-2013, 07:09 PM
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What do you mean so? I was simply responding to an incorrect statement that Penn Station is the busiest train station in the world. It is definitely the busiest in North America.

47 to 1; certainly not a contentious vote. It will be very interesting to see how MSG responds.
The "so" was because how large or small Penn Station is compared to the rest of the world's stations doesn't change the fact that it was built to handle 250,000 people a day and desperately needs more space.

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07-24-2013, 07:28 PM
  #89
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Which I agree with and have throughout this thread... You are reading a non-existent hidden message into what was a simple correction of an incorrect statement.

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07-25-2013, 09:04 AM
  #90
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MSG has 10 years left?

http://deadspin.com/madison-square-g...ium=socialflow

"It's horrible timing for James Dolan and MSG, which is months away from completing a nearly $1 billion renovation to bring the cramped, seedy megalith into something resembling the 21st century."

"The 10-year notice is not a death sentence. When the permit comes up again, MSG will have the right to re-apply, and it's impossible to predict what New York's financial and political situations will look like in a decade's time."

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07-25-2013, 09:17 AM
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http://deadspin.com/madison-square-g...ium=socialflow

"It's horrible timing for James Dolan and MSG, which is months away from completing a nearly $1 billion renovation to bring the cramped, seedy megalith into something resembling the 21st century."

"The 10-year notice is not a death sentence. When the permit comes up again, MSG will have the right to re-apply, and it's impossible to predict what New York's financial and political situations will look like in a decade's time."
I hear there's a place in Brooklyn that can be a temporary home while they try to find a new location in NYC...Brooklyn Rangers? Brooklyn Knicks?

Kidding aside they are screwed if they get the boot, finding decent land in NYC for a new arena is going to be very very difficult.

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07-25-2013, 09:24 AM
  #92
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I certainly think the city should do whatever it can to make MSG pay its taxes.. Everyone else living there has to.. If it means uprooting the Garden and pissing off Dolan, so be it.. He can't even seriously threaten to move the teams because of his cable network and he knows someone else would probably just replace them and make all of that money


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07-25-2013, 09:39 AM
  #93
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I certainly think the city should do whatever it can to make MSG pay its taxes.. Everyone else living there has to.. If it means uprooting the Garden and pissing off Dolan, so be it
MSG should have to pay taxes i agree.. i think the city is leveraging itself to cut a deal to make them pay taxes down the line. if they gave MSG a perpetual lease, they'd have no leverage whatsoever.

lets face it though.. NYC needs MSG and MSG needs NYC. they'll find a way to come to a solution eventually.

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07-25-2013, 10:10 AM
  #94
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Rangers to Garden City? Rangers to Stamford? Rangers to Scarsdale/White Plains?

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07-25-2013, 10:28 AM
  #95
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Any interest in Quebec City?

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07-25-2013, 11:22 AM
  #96
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They could play in the Meadowlands... that could be fun

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07-25-2013, 11:26 AM
  #97
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One thing I just cannot figure out; perhaps someone here has some insight.

It seems undisputed that Madison Square Garden, Inc. owns the Garden and the land it sits on. The land was originally leased, but purchased outright in 1985. Amtrak owns Penn Station down below. How exactly does that work? To my knowledge Amtrak certainly does not lease anything from MSG, so what is going on here? It seems like there are two separate owners on the same property.

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07-25-2013, 11:52 AM
  #98
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I imagine they'd head to the West Side, where the proposed Jets stadium was going to be. They could fold this into a new attempt at bidding for the 2024 Olympics and build a temporary stadium in Flushing Meadows along the lines of the Chicago plan, perhaps with a small shell being left for the new MLS team, too.

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07-25-2013, 11:59 AM
  #99
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Will be quite the epic battle and is fascinating in its own right. Ultimately I think the Garden will be moved again but in how long, who knows? Assuming they have to move temporarily (which may or may not be the case) I think they would most likely play in Newark temporarily. It's much better suited to hockey than the place in Brooklyn (what an unreal seating plan for the Isles) and wouldn't have the scheduling headaches of dealing with 2 other tenants (doable, but Staples is the only place where this done). The Liberty have played at the Rock during the renovations and I get the sense that the Dolans have less animus towards the NJ ownership than to Brooklyn's (I doubt new NJ owners would change THAT fact). Ironically enough given the situation, I'm under the impression that mass transit would be a little easier to NJ than Brooklyn (though I guess Knicks fan can enlighten me on how the ride from MSG to Barclay's is).

I'll have my popcorn out that's for sure.

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07-25-2013, 12:00 PM
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Rangers to Garden City? Rangers to Stamford? Rangers to Scarsdale/White Plains?
Or the ultimate - Rangers to Uniondale

-QG

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