It’s the world’s most immovable arena.
New York state officials have opted to renovate Penn Station without evicting upstairs neighbor Madison Square Garden because relocating it would delay the station improvements “for a generation,” acting MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said Tuesday.
Testifying before the state Assembly corporations committee, Lieber insisted that attempting to relocate the 57-year-old home of the Knicks and Rangers would require years of negotiations at expense of public transit riders.
“Resolving that question is a guarantee that Penn Station won’t be fixed for, I think, another generation, I can’t say for sure, but certainly more than ten years,” Lieber told Assembly members.
Lieber said there are too many “variables” involved. “Where would Madison Square Garden move? How would it be funded?” he asked.
“We who are involved with trying to fix Penn are not in any way taking a position that that should or shouldn’t happen. Others will decide that,” he said. “We cannot wait to fix Penn Station.”
“We can’t wait another generation,” Lieber said. “New Yorkers are suffering in Penn Station right now, every day.”
The state and MTA’s plan to rehab the country’s largest transit hub would reconstruct much of the station in place, leaving the same basic foundation that exists today.
MTA documents published last week by Reinvent Albany pegged the cost of relocating Madison Square Garden at $8.6 billion — including $5 billion to find the arena a new location, which officials said would be necessary to avoid “lingering MSG complications.”