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MSG rail yards plan gets thumbs up--from some.

Madison Square Garden unveiled its proposal for transforming the West Side Rail Yards into a multifaceted neighborhood that includes free parks and a water-side promenade.

Local community leaders, elected officials and development experts praised MSG's bid as a thoughtful and dynamic plan that addresses the economic and development needs of the City and the community.

"This type of plan could create real and lasting development on West Side without a billion dollar taxpayer subsidy," said Joe Restuccia from the Hell's Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance.

"Just imagine this plan as Battery Park City North--thousands of additional apartments, but including affordable ones and acres of waterfront open space."

This plan is the combined work of a world-class team of engineers, architects, urban planners and developer and real estate experts--including: Jones Lang Lasalle, real estate advisors; Chan, Krieger & Associates, architects and planners; HRH Construction, cost estimating and construction; Severud Engineering, structural and platform engineers; HVS International, Sports, hotels and economic impact; Hargreaves Associates, landscape architects; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, real estate and finance counsel; Howard Goldman & Associates, zoning counsel and Swidler & Berlin, affordable housing counsel.

MSG outlined a comprehensive development plan for the 13-acre Hudson Rail Yards that was submitted to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as part of MSG's proposal to purchase the air rights and build a platform for development over the yards.

MSG's plan alleviates taxpayer subsidies, creates enhanced tax revenue, and provides much-needed residential housing as well as retail and open space for the West Side's last great piece of undeveloped property in midtown Manhattan.

Madison Square Garden's Vice Chairman Hank Ratner said: "We have created a development plan that truly addresses the needs of the community by providing essential and affordable housing, spectacular open parks, and space for a much-needed elementary school and a library.

"MSG's plan also gives hundreds of millions of dollars to the MTA, generates enormous direct and indirect tax benefits for the City and eliminates the possibility of New York taxpayers paying more than $1 billion in public subsidies. We have in place an expert team and the financing we need to begin this effort immediately," Mr. Ratner concluded.

Features of the MSG plan include nearly 6,000 new residential units; public 5-acre park that opens up Manhattan's west side with a promenade that connects 11th Avenue to the Hudson River waterfront; a "performing arts enclave"; A state-of-the-art library; 750 room hotel; retail space along 11th Avenue.

MSG says the benefits of its plan are significant, pointing out that it provides a substantial direct benefit to the MTA, for valuable development rights over the rail yards, to help lower the MTA's current budget crisis

The plan also avoids the use of public subsidies, provides thousands of construction jobs per year over 12 years and forms a community that, once built, will generate more than 13,000 permanent jobs.
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Title Annotation:Madison Square Garden L.L.P.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 30, 2005
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