Financial District Office Vacancies and NYU Expansion
Earlier this month office vacancy figures were released for the Financial District, as well as for the rest of Manhattan. While vacancy rates have been declining across Manhattan, the already-elevated rates in the Financial District have continued to rise. With the anticipated addition of millions of square feet of new office space downtown from the World Trade Center, this vacancy rate may only continue to go up.
GVSHP has long argued that it would be better for the city, for the Village, and for NYU if the university were to look towards the Financial District rather than our neighborhood to accommodate its massive expansion plans. These troubling figures regarding the Financial District’s office vacancy rate only serve to undergird this argument.
That is why GVSHP wrote to key city officials to again highlight the benefits of getting NYU to focus its expansion plans on the Financial District rather than the Village — read the letter HERE. These officials will not only decide whether or not NYU receives the raft of zoning changes and special approvals they are seeking allowing them to add over two million square feet of space (the equivalent of the Empire State Building) around Washington Square Park, but could play a key role in getting the university to consider the Financial District instead. We are hopeful that these officials will consider that there are much better alternatives for New York’s economic future than NYU continuing to oversaturate the Village.
The next stage in the public review and approval process for NYU’s plan will be the beginning of the ‘scoping’ process for their rezoning application, in which the scope of the study of the potential environmental impact of their proposed changes is determined. We expect that process to begin in February, and will let you know when hearings on the issue have been scheduled.