March 2012
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Archive for March, 2012

MAS Panel Debates NYU Expansion

Nearly 200 community members, NYU students and faculty packed the Scholastic auditorium Tuesday evening to listen to an expert panel debate NYU’s plans to add a significant amount of density to two Greenwich Village area superblocks.

To kickoff the evening, MAS President Vin Cipolla briefly outlined NYU’s plans to add nearly half the square footage of their ambitious 6 million square feet expansion plan to the Greenwich neighborhood. Following, the panel – moderated by HR&A Chairman John Alschuler — debated whether New York City’s neighborhoods could handle the continued growth of the city’s 110 higher education institutions and still maintain the diversity that has drawn these institutions and others to these neighborhoods.

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MAS Launches Young Urbanist Activities for 2012

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The MAS Greenacre Reference Library was packed last Thursday evening as MAS launched its year of special programming for Urbanist members with a briefing by MAS president Vin Cipolla and reception. A number of new initiatives are slated for 2012 including regular monthly Urbanist Outings, a brand new benefit package for Leadership Council members, and other opportunities for getting involved in the work of MAS at several different levels.

Libraries as Community Anchors

MAS is committed to advocating for public amenities that contribute to the livability of New York City and its diverse neighborhoods. To that end, MAS showcased the leaders of the three New York City library systems at the MAS Summit for New York City this past October, to talk about the vital and ever-expanding roles libraries play as cultural and community anchors in city neighborhoods. This session was so popular (both live and online subsequently) that MAS will again convene a public program with the presidents of the libraries, this time at the magnificent main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on April 12. Admission is free, (full event details below), and we hope you will join us.

Said MAS President Vin Cipolla, “At MAS, we are passionate about the preservation and protection of our libraries across New York, and doing our part in helping find ways for libraries to play an even bigger role in servicing New Yorkers for decades to come. We are excited about this moment for our city’s libraries–led by three great visionary presidents with whom we are honored to be associated.”

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MAS Applauds City Council’s Approval of St. Vincent’s Redevelopment

st vincents hospital concept new york

On March 14, the City Council approved the proposal to redevelop the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site on West 12th and 7th Avenue into a mixed-use development with a new 16,667 square foot park. The agreement that was reached includes a number of community benefits, including the commitment by the Bloomberg Administration and the New York City Department of Education to build a new public school at 75 Morton Street.  MAS has been focused on this project since it was announced in 2007.

At that time, MAS advocated for the preservation of the O’Toole Building. More recently, MAS urged city and elected officials to create a more balanced and equitable development proposal for the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site. After a long road, MAS is glad to see a better proposal emerge from the public review process.

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The University in the Neighborhood: Debating NYU’s Expansion Plan

nyu new york university campus expansion 2031 plan

Join MAS on Tuesday, March 27, for a panel discussion on NYU’s expansion plan.  New York University is the latest city institution to evoke controversy with its ambitious expansion plan which would more than double the amount of density on two Greenwich Village area superblocks. NYU, like Columbia and Fordham, is an important New York City institution; however, each institution’s success relies as much on its location within New York City as in its state-of-the-art facilities.

In New York City, perhaps more than anywhere else, institutions must make a significant effort to grow in a way that respects the city’s unique neighborhoods. As the NYU expansion project has entered New York City’s public review process, MAS will be hosting a very timely panel discussion weighing the benefits and impacts of the NYU plan and comparing it with other institutional expansions.

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