Open wide for some more NYU, Greenwich Village! Today the university's controversial expansion plan was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council by a vote of 44-1. (Councilmember Charles Barron was the sole dissenter.) Despite strenuous opposition from faculty, students, and local residents, the university's plan was greenlighted today after the administration agreed to reduce the plan's ground footage of the project by 26 percent. The final plan [pdf] includes a 700,000 reduction in square footage at the Zipper Building on Mercer and Bleecker Streets as well as significant reductions to the Boomerang buildings at Mercer and LaGuardia streets. (One building will go from eleven stories to four stories.)
"This plan is very different than the original plan," City Council Speakr Christine Quinn told WNYC. "Significantly. It's about 26 percent smaller, 26 percent less dense and less tall than the original plan, as well as many other changes." The four buildings will go up in two Village “superblocks,” six blocks that were consolidated into two in the 1950s and 1960s. Bloomberg News reports that the expansion is part of 6 million-square-foot, 20-year growth plan costing from $3 billion to $4 billion. NYU, the largest private university in the U.S., intends to grow its enrollment from 41,000 to 46,500 by 2031.
Patrick Deer, an associate professor of English at NYU, tells WNYC, "This is not a compromise, and we’re going to keep on fighting to try and save our neighborhood and our university." Here's a video opponents released yesterday: