NEW YORK | Garden City Twin Supertalls | 2x1600-1700 ft+

Twin Supertalls Revealed As Part Of Garden City, Possible Relocation Of Madison Square Garden, In Midtown Manhattan

The City Council voted this week in a Community Board Five meeting to advance plans for a massive undertaking in Midtown involving the conversion of Madison Square Garden into a new concourse for Penn Station, and the creation of a new home for the sports facility between two supertall skyscrapers near Herald Square. Initially proposed in 2016 by Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), new renderings give visual context to the plan, to which the city council agreed with the consideration of The Madison Square Garden Company’s acquisition of a shorter extension of its current lease.

PAU’s initiatives previously included the removal of the arena interiors, expansion of the transportation concourse floors, addition of passive heating and cooling, improvements to the northern and western entrances to the facility, and the addition of new platforms and tracks in conjunction with the proposed $13 billion Gateway Program. The cylindrical shape of the building would be preserved, but several levels of floors would be removed and the exterior would be re-clad in a new double-skin glass curtain wall, enabling natural light to flood the open interior and its 153-foot-high span from the ceiling to the platforms.

Madison Square Garden would move to an eight-acre site consisting of two full-block parcels bound by Sixth Avenue to the east, West 32nd Street to the south, Seventh Avenue to the west, and West 34th Street to the north. Straddling the new arena is a pair of supertall skyscrapers and two shorter towers, anchoring all four corners of a raised podium above street level.

The rendering below gives an impression of the design and scale of the buildings and their impact on the Manhattan skyline. Whether or not these are close to Vishaan’s intended design is unclear, but they would easily eclipse the height of the Empire State Building and Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 30 Hudson Yards, becoming a focal point of lower Midtown, and anchoring the neighborhood with a Rockefeller Center-esque presence.

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The Twin Towers of the 21st Century.

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How serious is this proposal? Is there a realistic chance of it happening?

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There’s a long way to go. I think it’s mainly going to come down to the interest of MSG, Vornado and the other landlords on the proposed parcels, and what sort of deal they could work out with the various government agencies involved (and potentially with each other).

During his presentation, Chakrabarti mentioned that PAU was intimately familiar with the inner workings of MSG as an arena and what the company would want to see in a new one. For example: apparently ingress/egress of trucks and equipment to MSG is a colossal pain in the ass, which would be ameliorated by elevating a new arena above ground and turning 32nd St into a private service passage, with interior ramps allowing trucks to drive right up onto the arena floor, and teams/VIPs to enter more privately than they do at the current location.

Not to mention it’s an even more central, arguably more prestigious location, fronting Macy’s and caddy-corner to Herald Square. I realize MSG spent a large chunk of change updating the interior of their current arena, but what’s the long-term plan: just keep updating the same structure every 20-30 years, forever? This might be their only realistic chance to make a move and stay in Manhattan, and certainly their only realistic chance to move while staying within the heart of Midtown. My gut says they see this as a grand opportunity that will just come down to dollars and cents.

Vornado similarly has a chance to cash in on their long-dormant plans to raze and redevelop the Hotel Penn. And as for the other landlords on the block, their retail is failing fast, and so I think they might also be inclined to cash out if given the chance.

I think it’s really important to note that not one person in the CB5 meeting objected to advancing this, although they made it very clear that they are not signing off on any specifics at this point. The very same committee-member who voiced serious concerns about Project Commodore’s visual impacts on Chrysler and GCT expressed pretty unreserved enthusiasm for this proposal, with nary a peep about preservation of Hotel Penn or the former Gimbels store (personally, I hope they explore the possibility of retaining/restoring the exteriors of one or both buildings and incorporating them into the Southeast/Southwest corners, rather than raising new mid-rises). The main issue that did come up was the amount of proposed office space, which could contribute to a glut, considering all the other offices coming online in Midtown. But again, the mix of uses is one of the many details still to be worked out.

Unlike most large projects where there’s serious bureaucratic headwind to fight through, the city seems to want this to happen. And since they have the power to stop renewing MSG’s special lease, coupled with what appears to be a reasonable win-win alternative to the Garden’s current location, they may even have the leverage to force the issue.

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It sounds like a great idea however I real concerns about putting an arena mid block when the appetite to replace them is every 30 years.

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Is this supposed to be on the site of the New York Hotel on the NE corner of 34th and 8th?

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will they block the view of the Empire State Building such that it is no longer visible upon egressing from Pennsylvania Station?

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Depends on the design of the towers, I’d reckon. But if Chakrabarti’s version of Penn is built, the new entrance/exit would be rendered largely superfluous, no?

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Love it! Hopefully MSG relocates and we get a proper eastern entrance for Penn, alongside these stunning towers.

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I don’t think so since MSG is further west than this entrance. Having multiple entrances to one of our busiest stations doesn’t hurt.

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I’m looking at this further. It seems like the proposal would have these towers flanking a new MSG on the area between 34th and 6th and 32nd and 7th. We know that Vornado owns a lot of those properties already. I wonder if Vornado is on board with this. It seems that the City would let them build a lot taller than otherwise would be allowed.

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Moving MSG off Penn station also has the added benefit of separating game day crowds from commuters rushing to catch a train. Having it near Herald Sq. would also make the walk to Grand Central a more viable option for the general public.

I like the tower part of the proposal but I think Penn station site deserves better!

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It puts MSG between the LIRR and the PATH. Herald Sq. is also a major subway station with many lines.

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image

Idea for a 1800 FT and 1200 FT talls Twin Towers

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I know this isn’t the design, but regardless, this feels very imposing on the Empire State buildings territory. Feel free to use these in any YIMBY articles.

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:drooling_face: :drooling_face: :drooling_face: :drooling_face:

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where can I find this or is there a download for it :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:

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