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Thread: New York University Expansion

  1. #196

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    Only took about 6 days to lose the most interesting thing about the plan - the terraced gardens/hills between the buildings. V.E. strikes again.

  2. #197
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    NYU's Greenwich Village Expansion Plans, From the Ground Up

    March 24, 2011, by Pete Davies


    What could rise on the corner of LaGuardia and Bleecker.


    How the Zipper building could rise along West Houston.


    The boomerang-less model for the latest Washington Square Village plan, cut-away and seen from the NE.


    The WSV plan as it would grow along Mercer Street.



    This week NYU officials gave a show and tell to community members of the school's newly revised expansion plans for the superblocks south of Washington Square in Greenwich Village, but the details weren't always apparent, despite lots of lively questions from the opposition. To keep everyone informed NYU has posted the updated plan online [pdf], so folks can read up on Big Purple's wish list of zoning changes, de-mapping and program distribution. Fun for the whole family!

    For those who like things three dimensional, architectural models of the proposed buildings can be seen at the NYU Open House at 532 LaGuardia Place. We were curious, so we popped in to take a look.

    On view are models for the three segments of the NYU plan, 2.2 million new square feet in total. They are the so-called Boomerang Buildings and their mix of underground space and gardens smack in the middle of Washington Square Village, the Morton Williams supermarket replacing building on Bleecker Street that would include a public school and NYU student dorms, and the Zipper Building, running the full lenfth of Mercer Street from Bleecker to West Houston.

    The Zipper, if NYU gets its way, would gobble up a popular dog run and take over a derelict playground (while adding new facilities elsewhere, eventually), and replace the existing low-rise Coles Athletic Center. The plan is for a 5-story base filling the entire lot, with six towers of various heights rising above, all off-set to maximize light into the new student housing. At the Mercer and West Houston corner, a 26-story, 275-foot tower would rise, a plan that requires a number of zoning variances. It would include a 190-room university-affiliated hotel and additional university housing. A new athletic center would go in below grade and a supermarket would go in along Mercer Street.

    The time frame for NYU to accomplish all this expansion reaches 20 years into the future, hence the NYU 2031 moniker. The south superblock would get built up first, from 2012 to 2022, with the Zipper the likely place to begin. This would allow a new supermarket to be ready for the locals before the Morton Williams site is shut down and demolished for the Bleecker building. But to build the Zipper, the Coles Athletic Center would first have to go, so NYU's idea is to have a temporary athletic center in the Washington Square Village open space, making the Boomerang Buildings the last pieces to be completed.

    None of this is a done deal, and NYU has a long public review period ahead. Hearings could begin in May (NYU is slated to file some official paperwork in April), and if all goes as Big Purple wants, the plan would be certified by the beginning of 2012 and construction would begin soon after. But the head of the Community Board has declared that Villagers are on the warpath, and warned that the superblock fight will be super serious.

    NYU 2031 Core: Update to Community Board #2 [NYU]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/0...nd_up.php#more

  3. #198

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    I'd love to see these disgusting commie blocks razed. Are these NYU housing or rent-regulated housing for the general public?


  4. #199

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    LL

    For once I think we agree on something.

    As far as I'm concerned, NYU could demo out all the superblocks (including the stupidly landmarked Silver Towers), put back the street grid, and build whatever they need, local NIMBYs, luddites, and class warriors be damned. There's nothing worthwhile there now.

  5. #200
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    I'd love to see these disgusting commie blocks razed. Are these NYU housing or rent-regulated housing for the general public?
    Maybe it appears "disgusting" because the current long-time owner hasn't taken much respectful care of the site.

    That is Washington Square Village; it contains 1,292 apartments. NYU now owns the entire block. Like most large scale housing developments in NYC built before 1973 they include rent regulated apartments. Occupants are a diverse group; residency here is not restricted to NYU students or employees:

    In the 1950s, after the assembly of the superblock, Washington Square Village was constructed as a for-profit, middle class housing complex. It was marketed to people who might otherwise move out of the city or who had already moved out to the suburbs and might want to move back. Initially, the apartment complex was referred to as Tishman’s Tenements, after Paul Tishman one of the original developers. Rents for studios to three bedroom ranged from about $150 to about $300 per month with about $25 extra for underground parking. Occupancy commenced in the Fall of 1958 with the opening of the north Buildings 1 and 2. South buildings 3 and 4 were opened a year or two later with freight elevators and no penthouses. A third building was to be built in the block where the University Plaza and the Silver Towers now stand. This was never accomplished presumably for lack of demand or due to the increased cost and taxes.

    The languishing rental market led to the acquisition of Washington Square Village by New York University for $25 million dollars. (The reported cost of development, according to the Housing and Redevelopment Board statistics was $20 million.) NYU bought Washington Square Village in 1964, after Paul Tishman (one of the original developers of WSV who was also sitting on the NYU board) ran into financial trouble ...

    After the purchase by NYU, residents of the complex were entitled to remain in their apartments but vacant units (of which there were many) and units as they became vacated after NYU's purchase could be acquired for University use. As the neighborhood has become increasingly desirable, to say the very least, many of the original residents have continued to stay on and have been there for upwards of 35 or 40 years. It is also being used as graduate student and faculty housing.

    The garden between the two buildings has been designed by Hideo Sasaki and combined biomorphic shapes with a strong grid of trees and a spectacular fountain with four high jets to stand up to the high-rises. It was a pioneering example of rooftop planting, being built on top of an underground garage. According to a 1999 New York Times Home & Garden article, the subtleties of the design have been blurred by poor maintenance and a misguided choice of trees and shrubs. The fountain now contains only one, very weak jet and most of the plants are different than the ones that were carefully selected by Sasaki for the original garden.

  6. #201

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    04.07.2011

    Campus Shuffle in Greenwich Village

    New York University to spread over two million square feet around I'M Pei's Silver Towers site.


    Aerial view of NYU's expansion plans with the Silver Towers on the left.


    On March 16, NYU announced updates for their latest expansion plan, part of NYU 2031, that seemed to say the University had heard the public’s criticism and was ready to be a nicer neighbor. Previously, the school proposed a 400-foot tower on the Silver Towers site, where three concrete towers designed by I. M. Pei and completed in 1966 currently stand; two are owned by NYU while the third is a is a middle-income cooperative. In the new rendition, the proposed fourth Silver Tower is gone. This hotel/residence raised an outcry before being scrapped in November and has now been replaced in part by something called the Morton Williams tower, a 14-story building structure for the site on the corner of Bleecker Street and LaGuardia Place currently occupied by a Morton Williams supermarket. This will be a two-tiered building with a seven-story public NYC school below and seven stories of dorms above




    Now and proposed: Corner of La Guardia Place and Mercer Street looking north


    NYU wants to add 6 million square feet of building to their campus over the next 25 years, with 33 percent of that planned for its current campus, 17 percent for the surrounding neighborhood, and 50 percent for remote locations. The masterplan for the three sites already part of the campus, including three acres of outdoor space, was drafted by Grimshaw Architects, Toshiko Mori Architects, and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.




    Now and proposed: Diagonal view of Washington Square Village.


    The March 16 meeting highlighted new building outlines and proposed landscaping plans. The square footage in the defunct plan for Silver Tower’s hotel and residential complex is spread over four new buildings, including the Morton Williams Tower, and totals 2.2 million square feet of new space. A building with many different interlocking heights at 181 Mercer Street has been dubbed the Zipper Building, and would replace the current NYU Sports Center. At the tallest part of the Zipper, a 150-bed hotel remains in the plan in a portion that will rise to 275 feet; the rest of the building will be used for faculty offices, classrooms, retail, and student housing. Two more buildings between 3rd and Bleeker streets and Mercer Street and LaGuardia Place have been nicknamed the “Boomerang Buildings” for their curving shapes, which open onto an enhanced plaza in the newest plan. Formally called the LaGuardia Building and the Mercer Building, respectively eight and 14 stories, they will be a mix of classrooms and faculty offices.

    At the meeting, Van Valkenburgh principal Matthew Urbanski talked about wanting to attract the community to walk through NYU with a new playground and dog run, and by making the plazas more accessible and garden-like. The landscaping plan described by Urbanski, which specifically involves land near Silver Towers at 505 LaGuardia Place, received a nod of support from I.M. Pei’s firm, and, despite some dissent from community members, was approved by the Landmark and Preservation Commission at a meeting on April 5.




    Now and proposed: Portal through Washington Square Village.


    In further efforts to win over the public, NYU has set up an exhibit on NYU 2031 at the new Open House gallery at 528 La Guardia Place with renderings and models. The exhibit was designed in house by NYU and is now open to the public. However, none of this seemed to help much at a community board meeting on March 21, according the New York Times. “A slide presentation by university spokeswoman Alicia Hurley was greeted by hostile interruptions, catcalls and hisses,” wrote Kim Davis for the Times’ “The Local East Village” blog. The only supporters in attendance appeared to be NYU faculty, while critics still felt that this new plan just reshuffled the same components of the Silver Towers plan they previously opposed.




    Now and proposed: Green Street Walk looking East


    Davis reported that Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation, wanted NYU to take its expansion elsewhere, meaning downtown: “You can’t meet your needs to grow by asking residents to sacrifice their quality of life,” he told the board. Urbanski, who attended the meeting, told AN that “people did not seem to understand that access to the site is currently impeded and that we need public passage. [In the 2031 plan] we can add nice movement and a holistic approach to make it more useful and beautiful for everyone.”

    Sarah F. Cox

    Copyright © 2003-2011 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC

  7. #202

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    Not that bad in person, but it's no surprise why people don't want NYU building anywhere near them.
    You'd think that with the remaining building sites, they'd try to sway some people over with some great design.





    The operable window frames kind of ruin the building.

  8. #203
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Yeah, thsoe frames are way too contrasting & bulky for this building.

    Plus the words "Good Design" and "NYU" aren't found in the same book. Amazing how bad 99% of the stuff is that NYU has built.

  9. #204
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    NYU Wants Controversial Superblock Strips to Become Parkland

    by Sara Polsky




    Construction on NYU's northern superblock, one component of the university's massive NYU 2031 expansion plan, isn't supposed to begin until 2021, but the narrow strips of land on its outskirts—and the matching strips surrounding the southern superblock—have been a point of contention in the neighborhood for several years already. NYU is hoping to head off some of the opposition with its latest move: asking the city to designate the LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street strips as parkland. If designated—NYU will be filing the relevant paperwork with the Department of City Planning ASAP—they'll remain parkland for the foreseeable future, since getting something un-designated is much harder than doing the opposite.

    Of course, NYU still plans to expand, but they've made a few changes so they'll no longer need to count on those two land strips. The so-called Boomerang Buildings are slimmer and less boomerang-like, and the Mercer Street one has been moved in by about 15 feet from the strip on the Mercer Street side. Nor will NYU attempt to use any air rights from the strips in the project, though the space will still be part of NYU's construction staging area.

    The university still hopes to obtain two other public land strips within the footprint of the expansion plan: the one next to the Zipper building on the southern superblock and one near the CoGeneration Plant, outside the superblocks. As for how the community will react to this, NYU says its data shows folks are on board: according to an NYU survey of NYC voters, more than 50 percent of Greenwich Village and Washington Square residents support NYU's growth plan.

    NYU's Greenwich Village Superblock Plans Officially Unveiled [Curbed]
    Activists & Politicians Hope to Prevent NYU's Village Land Grab [Curbed]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/0...kland.php#more

  10. #205
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    I'd love to see how NYU worded that survey where they claim 50% of local residents support their massive expansion.

  11. #206
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    Strip Tease


    NYU seeks to move DOT strips to parks, and build beneath.

    Tom Stoelker


    Aerial rendering showing NYU's expansion plans. Courtesy NYU

    Fall-out from Robert Moses’ doomed Lower Manhattan Expressway plan continues to have an impact across the Village where he had cobbled together a patchwork of parcels, now belonging to the Department of Transportation. Some of those remnant lots along the edges of two superblocks just south of Washington Square are now popular green spaces. And when New York University (NYU) attempted to buy the land in order to build several stories of classrooms beneath Washington Square Village, the community protested fearing it might lead to future development above ground. The university backed off and now proposes remapping the area and designating the two northernmost strips as parkland but still building classrooms underground. This would place the strips under the control of the Parks Department, an administrative guarantee of sorts that the land will remain open space.

    Site plan showing DOT strips as parks and wider courtyard walk.

    “There’s never been a real clarity of who owns them, what’s going on with them, and who should be responsible for taking care of these spaces,” NYU government affairs VP Alicia Hurley said of the strips. “Our plan is giving them that clarity.”

    Of the five DOT strips in the area bordered by LaGuardia, Mercer, West Fourth, and Houston, NYU seeks changes to four. At the northern superblock of Washington Square Village, two proposed Toshiko Mori-designed buildings were moved so as not to sit on the strips, and NYU will seek park designation for them. The latest proposal also moves one building, the Mercer Building, off the strip by shifting it 15 feet to the west. The request will be folded into the overall Universal Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application that also seeks easements for building beneath the parks.

    At the southern superblock of Silver Towers, the university hopes to move the proposed Zipper Building, designed by Mori with Grimshaw, 30 feet to the east onto the DOT strip there. This would widen the courtyard walkway between the new building and the Silver Towers, expanding it from ten feet to 40. As with the rest of the project, the landscaping there would be designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

    Lastly, the university still wants to buy the DOT strip along Mercer just north of the superblocks. University representatives said they are not seeking FAR or air rights, but are looking to end leasing the 30-foot by 400-foot property that holds their mechanical rooms below grade. The strip would remain a park. The university said that community gardens along the fifth strip at the western edge of the Silver Towers block would remain unaffected.
    Two views of the DOT strips along Mercer Street north of Washington Square Village (left) and LaGuardia Place (right).


    Landscape architect Matt Urbanski of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates said that the changes present significant design opportunities, particularly between the Zipper Building and Silver Towers. “By moving the new building we’re able to amplify that space, and bring the public through in a way that’s gracious, that doesn’t feel pinched,” he said. “It’s a good response to the [Silver] towers. It definitely invites people up from Soho.” Ubanski added that the additional 15 feet on the eastern edge of the northern superblock helps create a “gesture of entry” there as well.

    Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation found the latest proposals to be a gesture of quite another sort. “Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, this is just tinkering at the edges at best,” he said. “It’s historically a remnant of the Robert Moses plan and it would be a sad irony for [the city] to then turn around and let NYU gobble it up for development.”

    NYU officials said that while shifting the strips to Parks jurisdiction would be primarily an administrative change, it would run parallel to their ULURP process which will begin in early 2012 and play out over the course of several months. Any change to a parkland designation would require a review by the city and state legislature. “One of the hardest things to get done is turn parkland into something else,” said NYU senior VP Lynne Brown. “Parkland gives more protection for land from developing in a very different way than any other classification.”



    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5663

  12. #207
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    NYU delays expansion plans

    School had hoped to begin the lengthy approval process for new buildings in Greenwich Village this month. That date has now been pushed to next year.

    By Amanda Fung

    It looks like New York University won't be laying the groundwork for formal city approval of its ambitious 20-year expansion plan until the New Year.

    To proceed with its plan to add 3 million square feet to its campus in Greenwich Village and areas around Washington Square Park, the university needs city zoning approvals. NYU had originally hoped to begin the lengthy public-approval process known as Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which takes up to seven months, before the end of the year. But at the request of Community Board 2, NYU sent the board a letter on Nov. 3 indicating that it will postpone its plans.

    “We were ready [to begin] at the end of November, early December, but received a request from the community board leadership and agreed to hold our submission until after the holidays, in January,” said Alicia Hurley, vice president of government affairs and community engagement at NYU.

    The university's 2031 expansion plans have been opposed by preservationists and some local community groups, who believe that NYU is overbuilding in the neighborhood. In an effort to appease some opponents, in September NYU announced that it tweaked its plans and ensured that two city-owned plots along LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street, on the east and west sides of Washington Square Village, will remain parkland. It also said no portion of its two proposed academic buildings will rest on the parkland.

    NYU's growth plans call for a total of four buildings. The school revised its plan earlier this year, when the 400-foot-tall building that NYU had hoped to erect next to three landmarked spires known as Silver Towers on West Houston Street was rejected by the landmarked Silver Towers' famed architect I.M. Pei.

    Two of the buildings—a 14-story property along Mercer Street on the eastern edge of the Washington Square Village block and an eight-story building on the west side of the block off the LaGuardia Place strip—are scheduled to rise in 2022.

    On the site where a Morton Williams supermarket sits at the corner of Bleecker Street and LaGuardia Place, the school plans to construct a student dormitory atop a planned 100,000-square-foot public school. A block east on Mercer Street, the university plans to replace its existing Coles Gym building with a mixed-use, 790,000-square-foot facility dubbed the Zipper Building. It will be used for faculty and student housing as well as an athletic facility and academic purposes. NYU could begin building the Zipper and Bleecker Buildings as soon as 2013, according to the university's plan.

    Separately, on Nov. 21 the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies will open its newly redesigned and refurbished 117,000-square-foot campus at the Fairchild Building located at 7 E. 12th St. at a ribbon cutting. The new space, designed by Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, consolidates the school's classrooms and administrative offices.


  13. #208

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    I'd love to see these disgusting commie blocks razed. Are these NYU housing or rent-regulated housing for the general public?

    That's gonna be some of the best-looking, cleanest housing blocks of that style in the whole city. Still, judging beauty of commieblocks against one another is like judging which port-a-potty looks best.

  14. #209

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    Sad to hear that NYU is delaying all construction and scrapping plans to build some of the proposed buildings in order to respect and preserve Robert Moses' unfortunate scars on the city. The two superblocks containing the Silver Towers and Washington Square Village are nothing but horrendous.

    Blank concrete walls, hideous Brutalist structures set back from the street, mind-numbing commie blocks: these are the primary Corbusian characteristics of this decidedly un-urban jumble. It's desolate (which is tough to manage, given the large numbers of students always in the area) and depressing. The added density and urbanity of NYU buildings would have been a blessing, but the '60s-generation NIMBYs won out.

    The saddest thing about this is that NYU will still try to expand, only it will probably end up adding space by destroying 100+-year-old buildings in the area instead of building on the unused lawns, asphalt and driveways around Silver Towers and Wash Sq Village.

  15. #210
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    Not sure where you came up with your info. All NYU is doing is minorly delaying the next stage of the ULURP process. They've not given up any of their plans to build on their non-landmarked properties on the two super blocks. But no doubt they'll have to rethink some of what they thought they could get away with while doing so.

    And about those "mind-numbing" blocks: They really do need to get rid of all those damned Commie trees that run along the streets there. I can hardly form a thought while walking past, my mind is so numb.

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