MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow today responded to a February 4, 2005 offer
from Madison Square Garden, LLP., ("MSG") to develop the LIRR West Side
Rail Yards. He also sent a letter to the New York Jets, LLC., proposing
a non-binding arbitration process to determine the fair market value of
the rental of air rights and other real property interests for the construction
of a New York Sports and Convention Center.
Kalikow noted, "The MTA's primary interest in disposing of the LIRR West
Side Rail Yards site is to receive the maximum possible value in a transaction
that contains the fewest possible contingencies and least risk to the
MTA." He noted further, "This is intended to benefit the transportation
system as a whole, and to help alleviate the severe financial shortfall
facing the MTA."
The MTA has for more than one year been negotiating documents for, and
implementation of, the potential development of the site by the New York
Jets and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) pursuant to a
Memorandum of Understanding dated March 25, 2004.
MSG has made an unsolicited proposal to acquire and develop the LIRR
West Side Rail Yards. MSG's proposal was contained in an attached letter
to Chairman Kalikow dated February 4, 2005.
In order to begin to determine whether MSG's proposal can meet the objectives
of the MTA, Chairman Kalikow sent the annexed letter to MSG asking for
specific information regarding the terms and conditions of their offer
on or before the close of business February 11, 2005.
In the meantime, MTA will, in order to fulfill its "best efforts" obligations
under the Memorandum of Understanding, continue a non-binding arbitration
process with the Jets in order to arrive at, if possible, a mutually agreeable