City Council Adopts Madison Square Garden’s 5-Year Special Permit

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Madison Square Garden got unanimous approval from the New York City Council for an extension of five years on its special permit Thursday afternoon.

That does not mean the stadium — which has been above Pennsylvania Station for almost 60 years — is happy about it. MSG originally wanted a 10 year renewal and, after two City Council committees approved a five year permit instead, an MSG spokesperson said in April that the local government had done a “grave disservice” to New Yorkers.

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“As invested members of our community, we are committed to improving Penn Station and the surrounding area, and we continue to collaborate closely with a wide range of stakeholders to advance this shared goal,” an MSG spokesperson said in a statement.

The stadium sprang up after the original Penn Station was demolished in the early 1960s as the transit hub turned into little more than a cavern with a 50-year special operating permit.

That permit was renewed for 10 years in 2013 and recently expired on July 24 leaving questions of how the city and state would break up with the James Dolan-led company.

Manhattan’s Community Board 5 has adopted a resolution supporting the special permit’s renewal being denied by the City Council and in July the Department of City Planning proposed a permit structure that would allow the city or state to revoke the license if necessary to the redevelopment of Penn Station.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.