In a unanimous vote taken last Thursday, Community Board 2 soundly rejected the expansion plans NYU had proposed for its Greenwich Village campus.
The university had little hope for acquiring the CB’s approval; community opposition to the NYU expansion plans has been both loud and plentiful. Community groups gathered before the meeting to protest NYU’s actions alongside students and teachers who disagree with the university’s position.
Among the concerns voiced over the NYU expansion plan is the scope of the project; projected construction time for the “superblocks” bordered by Mercer Street, LaGuardia Place, West 3rd Street and West Houston Street is 20 years. Local preservationist groups have also raised concern over the relative ease with which the university was allowed to get city zoning requirements waived.
Still others felt that the plan would overcrowd a neighborhood already filled with college students.
The expansion of the Greenwich Village campus is part of NYU: 2031, a massive and ambitious expansion project for the university that includes projects in Midtown East as well as Downtown Brooklyn.
The CB vote, while encouraging for NYU’s opponents, is only advisory in nature. The university is currently in the middle of a Uniform Land Use Review process that culminates with a yea-or-nay vote from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.