NYU Defends Expansion Plan Amid Protest By Greenwich Village Residents

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York University is defending its 20-year expansion plan as demonstrators rally in Greenwich Village Saturday in protest.

The plan calls for more than 3 million-square feet of space to be built into two super blocks.

EXTRA: See The Full Plan From NYU

NYU issued the following statement to 1010 WINS about the plan.

“Strong universities are essential to the future of New York City, and growth is important to our academic excellence. NYU 2031: NYU in NYC, our academic space planning effort, seeks to balance NYU’s academic needs with the concerns of our neighboring community.  Fully half of our growth over the next 20 years will be outside Greenwich Village.  And NYU’s growth strategy near our existing Washington Square campus involves creating new academic facilities on its existing, NYU-owned footprint, with nearly half below-grade.  In addition to supporting NYU’s academic mission, this proposal will create thousands of jobs and increased economic opportunity for many New Yorkers and provide new open space for the community,” spokesman John Beckman said.

“As NYU continues to move through the City’s mandated public review process, we look forward to continuing our discussions with all stakeholders involved,” he added.

SEE: Proposed Site Plan (PDF)

While dozens of protesters dressed in costumes took to the streets near Judson Memorial Church to voice their opposition to relocating a dog run, demonstrators say the issue for the neighborhood goes well beyond that.

“They’re going to build so many buildings and it will be virtually a construction zone for 20 years,” said one area resident.

“It will just be one massive building from Bleecker to Houston,” said another resident.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick said the expansion could ruin the neighborhood.

“A super campus in the middle of the existing location is perhaps not viable,” she said. “From a sustainability point of view, you’re taking out a lot of air and light, you’re removing a lot of open space, just the sort of thing the university shouldn’t be doing.”But not everyone thinks the plan is bad idea. One area store owner said the expansion will bring more students and more business to the neighborhood.

What do you think of the plan? Sound off in our comments section below…

  • Srabb

    There were HUNDREDS of Villagers attending the rally inside Judson Memorial Church. Outside an equally anti NYU group of dozens of dog owners (“Superdogs”) were also protesting. NYU does NOT own Greenwich Village and should not be permitted to destroy our area by stealing public lands (including where the dog run stands) destroying a community garden, taking away children’s playgrounds; foisting over 2 million sq ft of enormous buildings on an already crowded two streets. I agree with Sen.Duane, there are areas that NEED the construction, particularly in the Financial District which has said they will welcome NYU with open arms.

  • sam

    “Strong universities are essential to the future of New York City, and growth is important to our academic excellence.” As an NYU professor I strongly disagree with this statement. Universities don’t need to grow that fast, especially universities that have a chance to become as good as the ivy league if they focus on quality rather than quantity.

  • http://lushlifegardening.wordpress.com lushlifegardening

    II’m very encouraged by the anti NYU expansion comments. We all have to stay involved and stop this heinous plan from becoming a reality.

  • Pat

    NYU is destroying lower Manhattan at the expense of the neighborhoods and taxpayers. They are pure greed run amok.


    NYU will do everything in its power to destroy Greenwich Village.

  • A tax payer

    Tax paying citizens are what is essential to the future of new York, not the corporation of NYU. What an arrogant comment…. Universities are essential to the future of ny. New York existed before NYU and will exist after. money is what is essential to NYU. NYU has obviously out grown Greenwich village and NYC maybe t is time to take NY out of your name and move to Abu Dubai

    • The Realist

      N.Y.U. is more than just a mere university – it has become a major real estate developer. Of course, it keeps its (comparatively) small and insignificant university side-business so that its real estate income can be exempt from all taxes.

  • Chiker

    INTERESTING The amount of space NYU wants to createTOTALS more than THREE times the size of the average property size owned by individuals (non governmental types) in the Catskill mountains.

    The area of space they want to have is over 57 acres of space.

    What are they going to suck up in the way of CITY, services that they will not be paying taxes for?

  • Olivia

    The point is that NYU does not tell the truth. They are pure corporate greed and will go to all lengths to get what they want. They are the 1% and don’t care one bit about the community. They want the city to hand over tax payers city owned property used as park land so they can turn a residentially zoned communuty into high density midtown commercial zoning. One has to wonder who at NYU or the city government is profiting from this 6 billion dollar build. It is certainly not the community, the faculthecdeadline the students. Five generations of students at NYU will be attending a university in a construction zone. It is outrageous and fiscally irresponsible and this ally wrong on all accounts

  • bill

    its about money, college is a business, and their product is in demand. Need more customers, i.e. bratty students to spend their parents money

  • Pam

    NYU is the GIant Purple Property Eater that is destroying the Villages, both East and West, and now wants to take over Governors Island as well. Apparently it thinks it has eminent domain, and manifest destiny, and the right to expand as much as it likes despite the needs and wishes of the community. It must be stopped.

  • Jeff Sayin

    Does NYU pay any taxes? They should.

    The use an incredible amount of city land and resources and now are in the landlord tenant business.

    • The Realist

      N.Y.U. pays ZERO taxes. Even though NYU has become a major real estate developer, it still keeps its (comparatively) small and insignificant university side-business so that its real estate income can be exempt from all taxes.

  • Zizi

    NYU has changed the character of our neighborhoods by their massive expansion into areas going far beyond their campus. The entire Union Square area has become an NYU bedroom community with ugly dorm after dorm after dorm. The businesses catering to students are not the same as those needed by the community at large, so that there is an over-abundance of fast-food and convenience stores as well as banks, pharmacies and bring your laptop/coffee houses! NYU must be stopped before they gobble up the entire downtown area of our city, including the Villlage.

  • Jeffrey R

    very poor reporting …. “dozen of protestors…” There were over 500 protestors inside Judson memorial. you ought to fire that reporter for missing that

    • Your Math Teacher

      Here’s a news flash…

      – “Dozens” is plural, and it means “more than ONE dozen.”

      – 500 is equal to 41.6 dozen, which IS “more than one dozen.”

      Learn some math.

      • Olivia

        That was not very nice. I am neither a math teacher, or a journalist, but using the term dozens when there were at least 500 or more seems like intentional misleading. If you are really a math teacher, NYU could use some tutoring with their figures. Hey great idea NYU should have a school of Skew the truth with creative math and creative reporting.

      • Rennie

        Generally when reporting numbers of people (and I’m a journalist, not a math teacher), one is taught to go for the highest collective number noun. In this case :”hundreds” would have been most appropriate and correct. Unless, of course, the reporter meant some sort of diminishment and dismissal by the comment, hence the lower collective. Which seems to me that an agenda was at work. Or just bad reporting. Stick to math, Your Math Teacher, and leave journalistic commentary to someone who actually knows.

  • Annie Balliro

    THE NYU 2031 PLAN WILL DESTROY OUR COMMUNITY – this is not about buildings, this is about PEOPLE and COMMUNITY, represented through a dog run, gardens, playgrounds and neighbors who have made our city what it is today. The fact that the city is considering NYU to use PUBLIC COMMUNITY GREENSPACE is criminal and anyone who approves this shoudl be treated as such.

  • The Realist

    N.Y.U. is a huge real estate developer that just happens to run a (relatively) small university business on the side. Of course, that small university business makes the real estate income exempt from all taxes.



  • Mike

    American way is to tear it down! “But the buildings are beautiful”, who cares tear them down…It’s the American way! Destory! Destory! Greeding Basters!

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