Streams

NYU Planning Expansion

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New York University is planning a massive expansion that will unfold over the next 20 years. According to an individual familiar with the plans, the expansion calls for a new tower at Bleecker Street next to the Silver Towers as well as buildings on Governors Island and in Brooklyn.

The university says it needs 6 million square feet of additional space--the equivalent of three Empire State Buildings--in order to house its increasingly residential population and to bring its academic facilities on par with other elite institutions.

On April 8th, NYU President John Sexton will host a reception to announce the formal proposal. It will then begin the land-use review process, which will require review by the City Council, Landmarks Preservation Commission and City Planning Commission. Preservations have been expressing concerns about the plan's impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

NYU spokesman John Beckman would not confirm details. But he said in a statement that the university decided to develop as much space outside of its Greenwich Village core as inside of it, as a result of community input.

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Comments [1]

1.NYU claims it has been in a dialogue with the community for the last 5 years. This is largely false - there has been a monologue, not a dialogue. The only real change came when I.M. Pei himself announced that, contrary to NYU's published views, the southern superblock design would not be improved by the construction of a fourth forty odd story tower containing, inter alia, a hotel!
2. NYU keeps saying that the plan would created lots of good jobs. However, these jobs would be created wherever NYU built - if they build in the Financial District, where they are wanted and needed, surely just as many good jobs would be created. (Julie Menin has repeatedly begged NYU to build in the Financial District).
3. NYU argues that they should be able to do what they like on their own land. But this is an argument that presumably rejects zoning laws, which were created originally to ensure that residents in densely built neighborhoods have access to a minimum amount of light and air. NYU's main immediate purpose is to change the zoning of the superblocks and the immediate area to commercial instead of residential so that it can destroy the open spaces that include a children's playground and the beautiful Sasaki garden. They also play down the extent to which their plans require taking land, the "Green Strips" that is currently owned by the public, through the Department of Transportation.
4. The entire residential community here is rightly appalled by the very idea of the noise, dust and disruption caused by 20 odd years of construction, the elimination of the two fire lanes that provide egress in ingress to fire trucks to the long WSV buildings, and the huge shadows that will be cast by the 4 monstrous buildings that NYU wants to shoe horn into an area that is already fully built out under residential zoning laws.
5. Mr. Stringer and City Planning should, without qualification, just say no to any change in the zoning laws from residential to commercial to protect the many thousands of residents of the superblocks and the surrounding blocks of the Village and Soho that will otherwise become traffic and construction nightmares for at least 20 years.

Mar. 26 2012 08:41 AM

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