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Charles Bagli


Port Authority to the Rescue?

Charles Bagli is back today with another update: Governor Spitzer is making progress on funding, but there is still a gap (click here to read The Observer's primer on Moynihan funding - Bagli reports the city and state share will likely increase). The developers and other unnamed proponents want the Port Authority – with their “pile of cash” - to take over the project.

And then there is the “flip:”

The developers have also come up with a “flip” that they hope would quell criticism from preservationists who complain that the Garden’s proposed arena in the James A. Farley Building, the post office just east of Penn Station, would destroy the historical integrity of the building. Under this concept, the Garden patrons would enter the Farley building through doors at street level, instead of mounting the grand staircase on Eighth Avenue and entering under the colonnade, which would require making changes to the landmark building.

The latest on the Garden? Bagli reports:

Tired of the delays, the Garden has continued talking to Mr. Spitzer, while dusting off their fallback plan: to simply renovate the existing drum-shaped arena between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. In 2004, the Dolan family, which controls the Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers, had announced that it wanted to rebuild the arena’s seating bowel, install new luxury suites, add restaurants and widen the arena’s corridors, at a cost of $350 million.

Under that plan, the Garden has talked to the developers recently about keeping the arena in place, but moving its 5,600-seat WaMu theater from Eighth Avenue to the rear of the Farley building, which would still be converted to an adjunct train station. Advocates say the theater could enliven the Ninth Avenue entrance to the Farley building and would not require many of the structural changes opposed by preservationists.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of PANYNJ taking over? Tell us what you think.

We will be back with a better explanation of “the flip.”

Read “Spitzer Pushes Plan to Save Moynihan Station,” by Charles Bagli in the New York Times