Can pigs fly? Because, whoa, NYU just blinked. After pushing hard for its gargantuan, 2,275,000-square-foot, 200th anniversary expansion plan, NYU 2031, the school has buckled under pressure from the community and Manhattan Beep Scott Stringer and scaled the project back by 19 or 17 percent, depending on who you ask. The plan—which Bloomberg came out in favor of just yesterday—is still huge and still has vocal critics. Now it 's just a little less huge.

"Our proposals have gone through multiple changes over the years we've been involved in the planning process," NYU said in a statement last night. "From the beginning, our focus has been to achieve an outcome that will meet the University's academic space needs in a way that will keep NYU strong—and we're comfortable we're still well on that path—while addressing the concerns of our neighbors." To that end, the school—whose plans were not popular with the community—has agreed to scale back the buildings it wants to add on the superblocks between Washington Square and Houston Street:

The original plan called for 2,275,000 square feet of new construction — roughly equivalent to the size of the Empire State Building. The university has agreed to trim the size by 370,000 square feet. Mr. Stringer put the overall reduction at more than 19 percent; N.Y.U. said it was closer to 17 percent.

The proposed 14-story building on the southern block of the parcel has been cut in half in the revised plan; it is to be a seven-story public school operated by the city. Two boomerang-shaped academic buildings of 14 stories and 8 stories on the northern block would be shortened and reduced in size by 85,000 square feet. A so-called zipper-shape dormitory and academic building, on top of the land where N.Y.U. now has its athletic center, would be set farther back so neighbors across Mercer Street would have more light.

The plan will still need to be approved by the City Planning Commission and the full City Council because of the zoning changes it requires, but now has distinctly improved chances. Stringer is expected to make a recommendation of "conditional approval" of the plan later today. Not that opponents are jumping for joy or anything.

Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation's professional NIMBY Andrew Berman (not that we'd want those buildings in our backyard, either) likened the change to "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" and pointed out that "a slight decrease in the size of a few buildings does not change the fact that this massive plan is fundamentally wrong for the Village, wrong for New York City, and wrong for NYU. It’s unfortunate that [Stringer] was willing to give away his vote and get so little in exchange for it."