On Wednesday April 25, three NYU professors had an op-ed piece published in the New York Times that catalogued the reasons against the 30-year expansion plan.
The $6 billion cost would result in $100 million in interest and hence, larger classes and higher tuition costs, forcing NYU to be “less selective – excluding poor and middle class students.”
Yet, their more personal argument is that 40 percent of the faculty live in Washington Square Village and Silver Towers and they object “to 20 years of demolition and construction” and that “four giant buildings would be crammed into the area, three placed smack against the older buildings, blocking most of the apartments from the sun.”
They argue that the years of construction right in their backyard will make some of the faculty quit and move to more sylvan campuses and, “NYU has drawn top faculty members to this expensive city by offering affordable-and livable-housing. If this plan proceeds many of our best will move to schools that would not house their employees on construction sites. We, who are suppose to hire new talent, either have to scare top candidates away by telling them the truth or get them here by keeping mum.”
As I write this on Charles Street, two of my neighbors, who have contributed articles to WestView, are NYU professors who have been given entire brownstones because, I presume, their reputations are so prestigious that they will attract students perhaps even worldwide.
The piece ends with “That NYU needs space is a reality,” but the professors do not want that space to be in their back yard. West View News proposes that at least part, if not all of that needed expansion estimated at four acres, can take place on the 14 acres of Pier 40.
For the WestView projection, architect, Richard Sammons, has proposed a row of garden town houses on the south side of the pier with a spectacular view of the river down to the Statue of Liberty which should vanish the hesitation of the wife of any super star academic.
However, as part of the deal, NYU must construct a satellite hospital to their newly completed Langone facility. The pier hospital could have a roof top helipad to link it with an East River pad, just behind Langone on First Avenue and to also serve the Tri-state area.
The Hudson River Park Trust must find perhaps as much as $500 million to finish the park and maintain it. NYU must find four acres and more to execute its 30-year expansion. The half million residents of the West Side of downtown Manhattan need a hospital within minutes of death from a heart attack or stroke.
All these needs can be met by building on Pier 40