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Home : Preservation : NYU : Latest News : 01/31/08

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NYU agrees to “planning principles”

As you may have heard, two very important developments regarding NYU and the future of our neighborhoods took place yesterday:

1) For the first time, NYU agreed to a a set of “planning principles” to guide the university’s future development. The principles were negotiated by a task force led by Borough President Stringer which includes GVSHP, other community groups, elected officials, and community boards. The principles include the University prioritizing identifying locations OUTSIDE of our neighborhoods for possible future growth (see here).  This is a significant change in NYU’s practices GVSHP has long called for (see here)

2) NYU’s public ‘Open House’ presented a variety of possibilities the university is contemplating for its future growth (see here)

Both events were covered extensively in the press, including in:

AM NY | NY 1 News | New York Times | Metro NY

GVSHP worked very hard to ensure that the planning principles emphasized the need for the university to look outside the neighborhood as much as possible when contemplating additional growth. We hope and expect that these principles will be a roadmap to further more specific and concrete agreements, and we intend to hold NYU to the letter and the spirit of this document.

However, clearly much work still needs to be done. NYU’s plans still project the university adding 3 million or more square feet to our neighborhood over the next 25 years — the equivalent of seventeen or more of their new 26-story mega-dorms on East 12th Street — an amount we find completely unacceptable. Additionally, the University’s plans reflect a great deal of thinking around the possibility of new developments in our neighborhood — especially in and around the Washington Square Village and Silver Towers superblocks — while plans for finding development sites outside our neighborhood remain vague and preliminary. GVSHP has long taken the position that NYU should remain within their existing footprint and envelope in our neighborhood — rather than continuing to expand — and that their first priority must be to find alternative sites for any new growth. While the university has taken some small concrete steps in the right direction — such as agreeing to site a new graduate dorm in Downtown Brooklyn — we are very concerned that the University does not appear to be moving as quickly or as resolutely on alternative locations for other new development as they are for local ones.  Many members of the public who attended yesterday’s Open House expressed similar reservations about the university moving ahead with ANY new development plans in our neighborhood until or unless they exhaust their options for satellite locations.

You can express your concerns directly to the university by going to their feedback page here.

GVSHP will continue to work hard through the Borough President’s NYU Task Force and through our own efforts to prevent inappropriate development by the University in our neighborhood. We believe the planning principles agreed to by NYU give us increased leverage in this regard, providing a means to either steer the university away from such development, or to publicly call them on their failure to maintain written agreements they have made with GVSHP, elected officials, and a broad range of community groups.

Next: 02/08/08
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Home : Preservation : NYU : Latest News : 01/31/08

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