City Planning Department recommends 10 year renewal of Madison Square Garden’s special permit


The Department of City Planning has recommended extending Madison Square Garden’s special permit to operate an arena at 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue for another 10 years, on the condition the Garden commits to major public realm improvements and, crucially, returns to the city down the road to ensure the arena is compliant with plans to reconstruct Penn Station.

The proposal, which will come to a vote by the City Planning Commission this week on whether to send it to the City Council, is well short of the permanent extension sought by the World’s Most Famous Arena. But it’s also considerably longer than the three-year extension recommended by the local Community Board, which argued the arena’s presence hinders the redevelopment of Penn Station, a position tacitly adopted by the railroad agencies that use it.