A new proposal for the renovation of NYC's Penn Station would call for the demolition of The Theater at Madison Square Garden, The New York Times reports. From the Times:

To build a grand, street-level entrance for the new Penn Station, ASTM would demolish the Theater at MSG, a 5,600-person venue near the Eighth Avenue side of the complex. The Madison Square Garden arena itself would be surrounded by a roughly 90-foot-tall glass podium designed to mirror the dimensions of the Beaux-Arts-style James A. Farley Building across the street.

This proposal, from a subsidiary of ASTM Group, an Italian firm, is just the latest in a long string of plans to rework the much reviled train station, which is sometimes named among the worst places in NYC. Before this, a plan in partnership with Vornado Realty Trust would've built new skyscrapers in the Penn district in addition to revamping the station. Other plans have called for moving Madison Square Garden, which sits atop the station, but MSG owner James Dolan has been firmly against that happening, and it currently seems unlikely to go forward.

The Theater at MSG was also slated for possible removal back in 2018 (when it was called Hulu Theater) to make room for a "grand entrance" to Penn from 8th Ave. That never happened, and it remains to be seen whether this proposal will gain traction, either. Critics of it point out that no actual train capacity would be added in the renovation, nor would it do anything to address congestion on the Seventh Ave side of the station.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are also in search of additional means of funding for the MTA, and one they're considering is eliminating Madison Square Garden's decades-long property tax exemption. Gothamist reports that it isn't likely to go through, however, and an MSG spokesperson defends the break to Gothamist, calling the venue "a significant job creator and an economic leader within both our community and the city" and saying the exemption is "hundreds of millions of dollars less” than what other teams and venues in New York receive."

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