November 2017
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MAS Urges Modification of NYU Proposal

nyu core campus expansion elevation plan small

As an organization concerned with livability, MAS has spent several months analyzing NYU’s development plans and attending NYU presentations and community board meetings to better understand how NYU’s proposal to add 2.5 million square feet to their core campus will impact the Greenwich Village neighborhood. Our position takes into consideration NYU’s very real need to deal with pressures created by institutional growth and attempts to balance those pressures with the need to ensure that development is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

MAS has concluded that the amount of NYU’s proposed density is not appropriate for this historic neighborhood and would constitute an unacceptable burden, creating significant adverse impacts to several nearby transit stations and intersections due to the increased pedestrian traffic expected by project completion in 2031. In addition, the height of several of the proposed new buildings would be considerably out of proportion with the existing built form, causing shadows on the reconfigured and existing open spaces and permanently changing the character of the area. These impositions would needlessly diminish the quality of life for neighborhood residents and would set troubling precedents for similar approaches in other parts of the city.

NYU core campus expansion elevation plan

Click on image to see larger rendering

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 are important New York City institutions, 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 way that respects the city’s unique neighborhoods. Community Board Two unanimously recommended the denial of NYU’s proposal which as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure moves on to be reviewed by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.