A rendering of the NYU expansion plan
The battle between New York University and local residents and community preservation groups just got a little fiercer, as just yesterday the appellate court overturned a previous decision by the New York Supreme Court that prohibited the university’s $6 billion, 1.9 million-square-foot expansion plan.
NYU now has the green light to move forward with their colossal project, which includes taking over “implied park land” that has been used by the public for years. Local community groups vow to appeal the decision. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Community Board 2, and local residents, filed the lawsuit against the school in 2012.
The “implied park land” in question refers to Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park, and LaGuardia Corner Gardens, which have been used by the community for years as a community garden, children’s playground, and dog run. Supreme Court Justice Donna M. Mills ruled in January that since the land had been used as public park land for so long, NYU needed special permission to take over the land, a ruling that was reversed yesterday. The new ruling also gives the go ahead for huge new buildings on two superblocks.
GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman said in a statement:
“We will be working with our co-plaintiffs and our lawyers to appeal this wrong-headed decision as soon as possible. It’s deeply ironic that this decision came down just days after it was revealed that the plan will allow space which was supposed to be allotted for a public school to be taken by NYU — amounting to an even greater giveaway of public resources to the university as part of this development scheme.”
On the other side of the debate, NYU spokesperson John Beckman said, “The need for additional academic space is clear and has been reaffirmed by a faculty-led committee, and it is now also clear that the University has the legal right to proceed with this project.”
Neighborhoods : Greenwich Village