Jul 17, 2012 06:09 AM EDT
NY Officials to Vote on NYU’s Controversial Expansion Plan
City officials will decide the fate of New York University’s fiercely challenged expansion plan to add four buildings, totaling more than 2 million square feet to the Greenwich Village Campus of the nation’s largest private university.
NYU administrators are of the opinion that the expansion is inevitable to add new facilities to attract top students and professors. But critics, including faculty members and actor Matthew Broderick say that the planned expansion would harm the quality of life in the Village where Edgar Allan Poe and Bob Dylan plied their trades.
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The project, known as NYU 2031, has invoked fury amongst residents and activists who, along with Broderick, spoke angrily against the proposed plan on the June 29 hearing.
"I don't want it to go forward," Broderick told City Council members at last month’s hearing. "I think it's too big and changes the character of the Village in a bad way, massively." Broderick, a lifelong neighborhood resident and the star of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," has been outspoken throughout the controversy.
The new Greenwich Village towers are the most contentious part of the plan, to add 6 million square feet throughout the city by 2031, which will be NYU's bicentennial year. New facilities are also planned for Manhattan's east side and for downtown Brooklyn.
The plan would add 40 new classrooms, science labs, a new performance space and freshman residences to NYU's core campus in the Village. NYU says it must build these facilities there so that students can walk from dorm to classroom. The new buildings will be no taller than existing NYU high-rises, but opponents say sunlight and green space will be lost.
A council committee will vote on the proposal Tuesday, possibly modifying it and sending it back to the Planning Commission. The full council is expected to vote on July 25.