NYU Files Landmarks Application for Tallest Building in the Village
Yesterday, NYU filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission seeking approval for a 400 ft. tall hotel/residential tower — the tallest building EVER constructed in the Village — on Bleecker Street within the I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers complex. Last month in a public hearing, NYU stated that the application would not be filed until November, and that the tower would be only 385 ft. tall. See NYU’s press release ‘Overview’ of the application HERE.
This is the first official step in NYU’s massive 20 year expansion plan, ‘NYU 2031.’ Once there has been a decision on the landmarks application for this tower, NYU can then proceed with applications for the rest of the entire plan. ‘NYU 2031’ calls for the addition of 3 million square feet of space in and around the Village over the next 20 years — roughly doubling NYU’s rate of growth as compared to the last several decades.
In 2003, GVSHP began acampaign to landmark the Silver Towers complex, including its open space and Picasso sculpture ‘Sylvette,’ one of only two public outdoor Picasso sculptures in the Western Hemisphere. In 2008, the complex was landmarked, thus requiring NYU to seek landmarks approvals for any changes. In order to build the 400 ft. tall tower NYU has proposed, they also need zoning changes for the site, restrictive deeds prohibiting construction on the site to be lifted, and city-owned land to be transferred to NYU. These require the approval of the City Council, the City Planning Commission, the Mayor, and city agencies, and those processes will not begin until and unless NYU gets landmarks approvals.
GVSHP is opposed to NYU’s 400 ft. tall tower plan, which would compromise the award-winning Pei design, block views of the Picasso sculpture, and overwhelm its surroundings. GVSHP has consistently called upon NYU to consider other viable locations, such as the Financial District, for its expansion plans.
Read coverage of the filing of NYU’s plans HERE and HERE.
Hearings on the 400 ft. tall tower plan, which allow public testimony, will be scheduled at the Community Board and the Landmarks Preservation Commission in the coming weeks. GVSHP will let you know when they have been scheduled, and how you can participate.
There will also be a public hearing on Monday, October 18 about the publicly-owned, open-space ‘green strips’ along Mercer, Bleecker, and West 3rd Streets and LaGuardia Placewhich NYU is asking the city give to them as part of their 2031 plan. NYU’s 400 ft. tall tower on Bleecker Street would be built partially in what is now one of these publicly-owned green strips, which is currently grass and trees. The other green strips NYU is seeking to take possession of for its development projects include a dog run, a playground, viewing gardens, and a memorial to Fiorello LaGuardia.
The public hearing will take place at 6:30 pm at PS 41, 116 West 11th Street, on Monday October 18th. All are encouraged to attend, and to speak to why it is so important that this public open space NOT be given away to NYU.