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Thread: New York University Expansion

  1. #406


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post

    Christ. How beautiful this city was before Modernism came along and urinated all over it.

  2. #407
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    And before ugly exposed metal mechanicals were plopped on top of all the bigger masonry buildings. The NYU buildings on the east side of WSP show off a mammoth array of HVAC additions, fully exposed and totally fugly.

  3. #408


    Article in Curbed on the NYU - Greenwich Village Wars

  4. #409


    NYU could have been a more welcome neighbor and developer if they tried to be more architecturally contextual with the Village. Most of their major blockbuster developments have been mediocrities or eyesores, which don't maintain the much-defended character of the neighborhood. I'm sure if Harvard built more Peabody Terraces, then Cambridge would be reacting with just as much hostility.

  5. #410


    The appeal hearing was held yesterday.

    NYU embroiled in turf war over $6B expansion

    By Julia Marsh and Matthew Abrahams

    September 24, 2014 | 7:06pm

    NYU brought the turf war against its Greenwich Village neighbors to a Manhattan appeals court Wednesday seeking to overturn a lower court decision that blocked the university’s $6 billion expansion, which has been approved by the city.
    Manhattan Judge Donna Mills had handed the 20-member group of residents — supported by celebrity neighbors like Matthew Broderick and Susan Sarandon — a victory in January saying the city broke the law by giving away public parkland without state approval.
    But NYU and city attorneys said in an appeal that “the lower court erred” because the land was technically governed by the Department of Transportation, not the Parks Department, and so was not parkland, even though it had been used as green space for decades.
    The residents’ lawyer, Randy Mastro, was confident that a panel of judges from the state’s second highest court would reaffirm Mills’ ruling when they issue a decision later this year.
    “We won this case at the trial court because the city illegally alienated parkland and we’re confident we will win this case on appeal,” he said.
    About 100 residents and politicians rallied before the court hearing at the pocket parks that are at the heart of the case.
    The slivers of green space are located between W. 3rd, Houston and Mercer streets and LaGuardia Place.
    At the rally, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick called on Mayor de Blasio to switch sides in the fight.
    “We are begging you to put the people first, put the parks first, and withdraw your support of this appeal,” Glick said.
    A local artist named Prinny Alavi brought her 1-year-old daughter to the demonstration.
    “NYU has destroyed the Village,” Alavi said. “These gardens are precious. I show my daughter the flowers and the trees.”
    A university spokesman said, “since the lower court’s ruling, a faculty-led committee has affirmed the pressing need for additional academic space at NYU. We intend to move forward in developing the space needed to ensure that NYU maintains its academic excellence and standards.”

  6. #411
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    NYU Expansion Battle Reignites as Court Hears Appeal

    by Jeremiah Budin

    After a respite of about eight months, the battle over New York University's mega-expansion plans is back in court. Yesterday, NYU got the chance to make their arguments for appealing State Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills' January decision to block part of the expansion because the University was impeding on public parkland. The arguments hinge now, as they did then, on whether or not the parks in question — Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park, and LaGuardia Corner Gardens — are actually parks. NYU contends that they're not because they have never been officially labelled as such by the city, while NYU's opponents argue that they are because a) NYU has lobbied for years against having the parks officially labelled for this exact nefarious purpose, and b) we all know a park when we see one and these are parks. It is, as you may recall, a whole big thing.

    While we're still weeks away from the appellate court making a decision, the hearing brought out the usual band of protesters, politicians, faculty, NYU officials, etc. Many called for Mayor Bill de Blasio to drop the appeal, with Assemblywoman Deborah Glick saying that de Blasio "in his heart knows that we are correct and our efforts are on the right side of history." NYU President John Sexton, meanwhile, contended that, "This is about the expansion of knowledge ... Just think about this, the building that we're doing is to reflect the expansion of knowledge, not the expansion of the student body. So in a way, it's creating a lower impact." (Plus, there's a student housing shortage and where else is his son supposed to live?) The protests also brought out East Village performance collective STOMP, with one member explaining, "We heard about what's going on and we wanted to come make some noise." You kind of have to figure that's STOMP's reaction to everything, though.

    Residents and Elected Officials Renew Fight Against NYU Expansion Plan [DNAinfo]
    Today, a crucial point in fight over N.Y.U.'s expansion [Capital]
    Appellate court hears NYU appeal over Village 'parkland' [Capital]

  7. #412


    Appeals court overturned the lower court decision blocking transfer of the strips. The full project is back on. The link has the full decision.

    Court rules in favor of NYU expansion

    Updated: October 14, 2014 3:54 p.m.
    New York University's controversial Greenwich Village expansion plan got the green light from a state appellate court Tuesday, overturning a lower court's ruling that blocked the university's 1.9 million-square-foot project on the grounds that it would infringe on a community garden that was essentially protected parkland.

    In January, a state Supreme Court judge affirmed the position of several community groups thatthe garden at La Guardia Place was a de facto park, and as such would require permission from the state Legislature to change its designation. NYU, with backing from the de Blasio administration, argued that the land was state-owned and not parkland. On Tuesday, an Appellate Division court issued a four-page ruling siding with the university and City Hall.
    "NYU is very pleased by today's unanimous decision from the Appellate Division, which strongly upheld the city's and the university's positions, reaffirmed that the approvals process was properly followed, and reversed the lower court's designation of some strips of land on the superblocks as 'implied parkland,' " an NYU spokesman 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."

    Randy Mastro, an attorney representing the community groups who sued to stop the expansion, said he would be appealing the decision. The next court would be the state's highest, the Court of Appeals.
    A group of NYU faculty members opposed to the school's project said in a statement, “We are disappointed that the Appellate Division overturned the decision that would keep our precious Village parks—Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park, and LaGuardia Corner Gardens—protected from NYU’s unnecessary and ruinous expansion plan. However, we will continue to seek justice in this matter and move on to New York State Court of Appeals.”

  8. #413
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    The fight continues, though.

    NYU Opponents Speak

    by Jessica Dailey

    Today, a court ruled in favor of NYU, giving the university the green light to move forward with its $6 billion expansion plan. The opponents said they will be appealing the decision, which found that "implied" park land is not actually park land, and therefore, NYU can build on it. Now the opponents have released a statement, courtesy the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

    We believe the First Department panel made the wrong decision today in overturning Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills' decision preserving and protecting New York City parkland, and allowing the City to give this land away to NYU for its deeply unpopular and bloated expansion plan. 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. Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills was correct in identifying this much-needed public green space as parkland which cannot be alienated by the City or NYU. We continue to believe that the sanctity of this principle should be upheld, and we are confident that it will be upon appeal. Since the City Council, City Planning Commission, and Borough President first gave away public park space to NYU, and overturned long-standing deed restrictions, zoning protections, and open space preservation requirements to allow NYU to move ahead with its massive plan, we knew we were up against a lot. But I believe that in the end the best interests of the City, the Village, and even the university, as articulated by its faculty, workers, and students who oppose this plan, will prevail, and the courts will halt NYU 2031.

  9. #414


    I know they'll appeal. But given that this was a unanimous decision by a multi-judge panel of more senior appeals court judges, the original decision doesn't look very strong. I'll post in the NY Times article that has a little more info.

    Court Gives Go-Ahead to Expansion by N.Y.U.

    By ARIEL KAMINEROCT. 14, 2014

    The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court unanimously voted on Tuesday to allow New York University’s plan for a major expansion in the heart of Greenwich Village.
    Opponents of the plan won a partial victory in January, when a lower court agreed that two parcels of the designated construction site were public parks, and could not be put to other uses without approval from the State Legislature. But the ruling on Tuesday strongly rejected that position.
    “While the city has allowed for the long-term continuous use of parts of the parcels for parklike purposes, such use was not exclusive,” the appeals court declared, adding that the parks department’s maintenance of those parcels was “understood to be temporary and provisional.” It went on to say that N.Y.U. had neither circumvented the necessary approvals nor blocked community input.
    Continue reading the main story
    “N.Y.U. is very pleased by today’s unanimous decision,” John Beckman, the university’s spokesman, said in a statement. “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.”
    The expansion, known as N.Y.U. 2031, would add 1.9 million square feet of classroom, residential and office space to a plot near Washington Square Park; construction is expected to last 20 years.
    The City Council approved the plan in a 44-to-1 vote in July 2012. But a coalition of faculty members, neighborhood residents and preservation groups has fought against it, arguing in a lawsuit that it would disrupt the character of the area. Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, whose district includes the area, was a plaintiff in the case; Henry J. Stern, a former parks commissioner, testified on the opponents’ behalf.
    Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, promised to appeal: “We knew we were up against a lot. But I believe that in the end the best interests of the city, the Village, and even the university, as articulated by its faculty, workers and students who oppose this plan, will prevail, and the courts will halt N.Y.U. 2031.”
    Correction: October 15, 2014
    An earlier version of this article misidentified the court that ruled on New York University’s plan for expansion. It was the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, not the New York State Court of Appeals.

  10. #415


    Where is Lofter we need him here....(hope he's ok)?!

  11. #416


    He seems to have dropped of the board in August.

  12. #417
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    ^ Much too long .

    Before NYU Razes It, LaGuardia Park Will Get A Makeover

    by Evan Bindelglass

    As New York University presses forward with its expansion plans, the city Parks Department is planning makeovers of two Greenwich Village park areas, including LaGuardia Park, which will eventually be gobbled up by NYU. The other green space is on the south side of Bleecker Street between Morton Williams and the Coles Sports Center, and the renovations seem to be headed for reality, but not without some controversy. After all, this is the Village and NYU is involved.

    The plan for both is to complete the work by fall 2015. Of course, the work on LaGuardia Place would only be temporary. Come 2022, it will become a staging area and later an entrance plaza for one of the university's new buildings. Though it's been known for awhile that the park would be demolished as part of NYU's expansion, the realization of that fact didn't go over very well with the room.

    Aside from the changes themselves, the biggest point of contention for Community Board 2's Arts & Institutions Committee was the ownership of the land. Is it NYU or the city? While they are concerned, the issue will eventually be decided by the courts.

    As for the makeover, the pathways on LaGuardia Place will be reconfigured to add curved sections and better highlight the statue of late former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. There will be new benches in a circular section that includes the statue, plus additional lighting.

    The plan for the Bleecker Street section contains three new 12-foot long benches, one of them facing west and two facing south. Also, the southern fence will be put south of the gutter to make for easier cleaning. Both sections will get new plants and the existing light bulbs will be changed from yellow sodium to LED.

    After the public presentation, the committee went into executive session and drafted a resolution to be presented to the full board later this month. They feel that the existing pathways on the LaGuardia Place section are quite functional, especially for those which use the area as a method of passage and not just as an individual park area. Other concerns are safety, how the new light bulbs will affect the birds (really, they say the birds are singing in the middle of the night because of lights), keeping the trash receptacles rodent-proof, making sure there is adequate signage with rules (no alcohol, don't feed the pigeons, closes at 1 a.m., etc.), and that the area would be maintained (snow removal, etc).

    On Bleecker Street, they'd like only one new bench. They're concerned about some of the new materials for the paths being a problem for people who use walkers. Also of concern was security and the birds; they say it's become a sanctuary of its own).

  13. #418


    The last court that could overturn the plan will hear the last appeal

    Court agrees to hear opponents of NYU expansion

    The Court of Appeals agreed to hear arguments regarding the university's Greenwich Village expansion plan.

    (Bloomberg) -- Opponents of New York University's $6 billion expansion plan in Greenwich Village won a hearing before the state's highest court in their bid to block the proposal.
    The Court of Appeals in Albany on Tuesday agreed to hear arguments in the case after the opponents sought a review of a lower-court ruling from October that allowed the expansion to proceed. That decision found that the city's approval of the plan was appropriate because the disputed land isn't park property and doesn't require consent from the New York Legislature.
    "We're glad that the Court of Appeals agrees that this case is important," a plan opponent, Andrew Ross, director of NYU's American Studies program, said in a statement. "These parks have been a vital part of the Greenwich Village community's daily life for decades."
    NYU, one of the largest private nonprofit universities in the U.S. by enrollment, has said it needs more space to accommodate a student body that grew by 25% from 1990 to 2005 and is projected to increase by as much as 0.5% annually for the next 25 years.
    "This project—indispensable to meeting NYU's pressing academic space needs—was approved 44-1 by the City Council, and was strongly and unanimously upheld by the Appellate Division," a university spokesman said in a statement. "We are optimistic about another positive outcome when the Court of Appeals ultimately rules."
    Public parks

    As originally proposed, the project included 2.4 million gross-square-feet of development that would take place over about 20 years. A modified version approved by the New York City Council would total 1.9 million square-feet of new buildings on two areas described as "superblocks."
    One of the superblocks encompasses Mercer Playground and LaGuardia Park, both deemed public parks by a lower court judge. The other, where the university's Jerome S. Coles Sports Center is located, has one park, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, and a membership-based dog run, which the lower-court judge found didn't qualify as a public park.
    Neighborhood groups, arguing that NYU's plan would overwhelm a cramped historic area, filed two suits in 2012 to block the expansion. A judge dismissed the first complaint, brought by tenants of a group of high-rise buildings in Greenwich Village. Her March ruling has been appealed and is pending.
    In the other case, a lower-court judge ruled in 2013 that portions of the proposed expansion would interfere with the public parks and consequently require approval by the New York legislature, not just city authorities. The school successfully appealed, and that case is now headed to the state's high court.

  14. #419


    It's over. NYU won.

    GREENWICH VILLAGE — The state's highest court ruled in favor of New York University's expansion plan Tuesday, ending a yearslong legal battle waged by a group of Greenwich Village residents and local politicians who were determined to stop it.
    The state Court of Appeals rejected residents' argument that because they had been used as parks by the community for years, four parcels of land involved in the school's plan are "implied parkland" and must be formally "alienated" by the state legislature before they can be put to non-park use.
    In order to meet the criteria for “implied parkland,” the judges explained, the opponents had to prove that the owners of the land had done or said things that are “decisive” and “unmistakable in their purpose” to establish it as a permanent park, and that “the public has accepted the land as dedicated to a public use.”

    The judges said the opponents failed to meet the first criteria, citing various city documents that explicitly stated the parcels of land — the Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, and LaGuardia Park — were owned by the Department of Transportation and intended only for temporary use by the Parks Department as parks, playgrounds and gardens.
    For example, they quoted a letter of approval with the permit to create Mercer Playground which stated: "It is expressly understood that in the event that [the] DOT requires the occupied property in order to perform capital construction work, [the] DPR shall vacate it and return it to [the] DOT so that such work can take place."
    LaGuardia Park was one of many Greenstreet sites in the city, all of which are owned by DOT and operated by the Parks Department under a written agreement that they "will always remain as DOT jurisdictional propert[y], available for DOT purposes and uses as needed."
    And the lease for LaGuardia Corner Gardens specifically says the use of that DOT property as a community garden is "on an interim basis, pending the future development or other use of the premises."
    The opponents had long insisted that because the community had used the parks and playgrounds for years not knowing they were temporary, they met the second criteria for “implied parkland.” But the Court of Appeals said that because the opponents did not meet the first criteria, it didn’t matter whether they met the second.
    The judges dismissed with little consideration the opponents' claim that the Mercer-Houston Dog Run, which is not city-owned and is only accessible to paying members, should be consider parkland, writing in a footnote that it "lacks merit."
    The Court of Appeals was the opponents' last chance to block the project.
    NYU can now move forward with construction of the first planned building as soon as the university closes down Coles gym. The school has asked the city for permission to use a building on Lafayette Street as a gym while construction on the new building at 181 Mercer St. is ongoing.
    "The project not only keeps NYU academically competitive and helps fulfill our educational mission, it also benefits New York, as does today's decision," said NYU spokesman John Beckman. "The project will produce jobs and economic benefits, create public open spaces... and enable NYU to contribute to the city's idea economy and highly educated workforce by recruiting top scholars and top students."
    The school is only allowed to build one building at a time under the plan approved by the City Council in 2012, and is also obligated to develop some of the plots of land as open green spaces that will then be officially mapped as parkland by the city. They will also be creating a new dog run nearby.
    Beckman said the school "will have more specific information on a timetable for the closing of Coles and construction in the coming months."
    The opponents to the plan called the ruling "disastrous."
    “Although NYU's managers perceive it as a victory, this ruling will eventually turn out to be just as disastrous for the university itself as it will be for Greenwich Village, and the city overall,” said Mark Crispin Miller, president of NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan.
    The Court of Appeals' full opinion can be read here.

  15. #420


    ^^ Good. That area was underutilized and hideous. The only way to deal with failed tower-in-the-park "urban renewal" architecture (as at Washington Square Village/ University Village) is to build out the park around it.

    Better that NYU - which is going to expand regardless - expand onto its undeveloped superblocks than by tearing up the historic architecture around Greenwich Village for its new construction.

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