NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) -- About 100 people turned out for a Sunday afternoon rally in Greenwich Village to demand NYU withdraw its application to acquire public land south of Washington Square Park.
NYU has asked the city to transfer ownership of the land — currently home to playgrounds, a dog run and community gardens — so they can be used for the university’s expansion plan.
Community Board 2 recently passed a resolution rejecting NYU’s request and wants to see the space turned into park land, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
Terri Cude said she appreciated NYU’s need to grow, but argued it could take place elsewhere.
“Right now, our middle schoolers travel the length of Manhattan by subway to get to class, but somehow 19 and 20 year olds can’t go two stops on the E Train,” Coud asked.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Thomas Duane, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, and Councilmember Margaret Chin were among those joining local residents in opposing the plan, WCBS 880′s Ginny Kosola reported.
At the rally, Glick agreed with the push for turning the space into park land.
“People who live in Greenwich Village, they want to live in Greenwich Village. They don’t want to live on campus,” Glick said.
A statement from NYU stated the school was still working on its proposal and wanted to balance the needs of the university and community.
Community Board Member David Gruber said the university has to get the message.
“You always claim that you want to be a good neighbor, now step up and be that good neighbor,” Gruber said.
Neighbors said the land belonged to the public and should stay that way.
Community Board Member Tobi Bergman said even if NYU let the public use the space, it would be like any of the privately owned plazas around the city.
“Many of them are wonderful, they’re great,” Bergman said, “but they’re not public parks.”