On Tuesday, July 17th, the City Council’s Land Use Committee voted 19 to 1 to approve a slightly revised version of NYU’s massive proposed Village expansion plan, sending it to the full Council on July 25th for almost-certain approval. While the approved plan scaled back the NYU application slightly, it gave the university more than 80% for which they asked. Yet in a press release announcing the deal from Councilmember Chin and Speaker Quinn, the approved plan was referred to as “a reasonable agreement that best benefits…the community.”
In fact, the Council approved a plan that sells off precious public park space to NYU, upzones a residential neighborhood, eliminates open space and open space preservation requirements, violates the terms of the agreement under which NYU was given the land they now own, and adds nearly two million sq. ft. of NYU facilities to the Village. One of the planned buildings, a nearly one million sq. ft. structure called the “Zipper Loft,” which will replace the Coles Gym on Mercer Street, will rise to 300 ft. in height, making it one of the tallest if not the tallest building in the Village. The Chin-Quinn plan approved by the Council reduced the size of the building from what NYU requested by a mere 7%.
The Council joined NYU in refusing to consider alternative locations for NYU’s expansion such as the Financial District, where community leaders have said NYU’s growth would be welcomed. They also refused to ask NYU to justify the need for any of their facilities being located in this area. NYU’s faculty, staff, and graduate workers have been working closely with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and all have called upon NYU to consider alternatives to this plan and for the Council to vote it down rather than to approve any ‘modified’ version.
Following the vote by the full Council, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan will be consulting with our attorneys and looking at every remedy available to us. You can find out more at http://www.gvshp.org/nyu.