http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/ed ... dactwbZPYP
•Last Updated: 10:51 PM, June 30, 2013
•Posted: July 01, 2013
A key City Council committee has just offered to let Madison Square Garden stay on its own land above Penn Station for another 10 years. Generous, no?
Given New York pols’ fondness for strong-arming private businesses, you might have expected the council members to give the Garden a mere 30 days’ notice.
But at least all the key parties are finally being honest: They want the Garden gone.
Never mind that the owners have spent billions of their own cash for the land, the building and renovations and have every legal right to stay where they are.
Or that the stated rationale for evicting them — the need to rebuild Penn Station — would require a multiparty agreement on a viable plan, and billions in funding, by the city of New York, the state of New York, the state of New Jersey, the federal government, Amtrak, the Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and, oh yeah, the United States Postal Service.
Madison Square Garden
Which is to say: Expect world peace first.
But again, at least now we all know that the real goal has always been to oust MSG from its own property. That’s an improvement over the earlier, deceptive claims that the Garden could remain on its land if it cooperated in fixing up the station.
Indeed, in seeking to renew MSG’s permit for 10 years, as the committee did, rather than indefinitely, as is usually the case, Speaker Chris Quinn and her minions sent a clear message: The Garden should start packing.
Nice way to treat a viable commercial concern that contributes nearly $1 billion a year to the city’s economy, millions in tax revenues and 6,000 full- and part-time jobs.
Quinn is joined in her arrogance by at least two of her fellow act-now-think-later mayoral wannabes, Bill de Blasio and John Liu. Bill Thompson and Republican Joe Lhota, to their credit, say the Garden should stay as long as it likes.
What troubles us most about all this, as we’ve said before, is the message it sends to businesses. When a private institution as central to the city’s cultural and economic fabric as the Garden can be so cavalierly threatened by city government, what private business can feel safe?