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Thread: Columbia University Campus Expansion - Manhattanville

  1. #16
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure that it will happen since this mayor and governor are all for development. But of course there are peopel like legislative panel assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who will more likely vote NO. :roll:

  2. #17
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    Good Ol' Shelly. He would probably wait until Pace gets the same deal.

  3. #18
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    The New York Times
    August 24, 2004
    Columbia's Expansion Plans Raise Fears of a '68 Rerun
    By DAVID GONZALEZ

    With a dazzling smile and a grand wave at the men tugging at fishing poles, Maritta Dunn strides through the asphalt park where West 125th Street meets the Hudson River. This strip of Manhattanville is a perfect place for her to sit down and take in the view.

    Mind you, her back is to the water.

    Ms. Dunn is not so worried about the shorefront as she is about the jumble of buildings tucked between the soaring arches of the viaducts on Broadway and Riverside Drive. Where others see a postindustrial landscape of nearly empty factories and tomb-quiet warehouses, she sees urban survivors and brick testaments to the area's past.

    She says this because Columbia University sees this same area as the site of an 18-acre campus expansion that will unfold over the next 30 years. University officials, sensitive to the social upheaval over its 1968 proposal for a gymnasium in Morningside Park, portray the new campus as essential to the future and well-being of both the university and its neighboring community.

    Ms. Dunn, who is a member of Community Board 9 and the leader of a local business alliance, is not moved by those promises. She worries about new buildings cutting off the view and light to the housing projects east of Broadway, overburdened subway lines and local landlords raising rents in anticipation of gentrification

    "If you don't live here, you might say: 'Columbia is coming to Harlem? That's great! That's marvelous!' " she said with faux excitement. "No, it isn't. Just because it's Columbia? No, it isn't."

    After seeing a scale model of the planned campus, she had one word for it: typical. "It's typical Columbia," she explained. "To be kind, the plan is ambitious. It is typical Columbia in that it is also too much. It is too invasive. It's taking up the whole community."

    While Harlem has been redeveloped and reinvented in recent years, Manhattanville had been seen as its sleepy, grungy western fringe, best known for its Fairway market. That was one reason why it attracted the attention of university officials who were confronted with resolving Columbia's space crunch. And rather than try to expand one building at a time, they were looking for an area they could use as an urban canvas.

    "I very much want something that is a Columbia identity," said Lee C. Bollinger, the university's president. "I just don't want a series of unconnected buildings. Yet I very much want to bring thriving, vital life to the surrounding communities as well."

    Columbia already owns or has under contract about half of the property, and officials said they felt confident they could acquire the rest. They are talking about beginning land-use reviews by fall.

    Mr. Bollinger said he intended to exorcise once and for all the ghosts of the 1968 Morningside Park conflict. He said the university - which was already committed to expanding jobs as well as helping with health care and other social issues - wanted a partnership with Harlem.

    Along the streets of Manhattanville, where cobblestone and trolley tracks still poke through the asphalt in one spot, the reaction is a little more cautious. Peggy Shepard, the executive director of West Harlem Environmental Action, fretted that Columbia was acting as if the deal was done.

    "We have got to slow down this process," said Ms. Shepard, who has been meeting with local groups about the plan. "I do not think Columbia has come to an understanding they should be a partner, not simply a group informing others what they intend to do."

    Ordinarily, the prospect of Columbia moving north would be welcome news to Anne Zuhusky Whitman, who owns a moving company that counts the university as a client. But she refuses to handle one move - her own.

    She said she first learned of the plans during a meeting where she saw the tabletop model of the new campus. A laboratory building stood where her moving company should have been. Her brother's building up the street was also gone, she said. "We were obliterated from the map," she said. "I felt like somebody had given me a body blow."

    Business owners said they had been approached in recent years by real estate agents they now suspected were working for Columbia. Once word of the expansion got out last year, the pitches took on an edge that was less than collegial.

    "They blackmailed me," said John Busch, the owner of a boiler repair business who sold his West 130th Street building to Columbia last year.

    "They said if I did not sell, I would be condemned. They would throw me out. I had no choice. How are you going to fight them? They teach lawyers."

    About 14 business owners refuse to move (or are saying they will not). Ms. Zuhusky Whitman, for example, said leaving the area would add travel time to her moving teams, which, in turn, would increase the cost to customers.

    While Mr. Bollinger said that he "couldn't imagine" anyone representing the university threatening owners with eviction, he added that he "can't put condemnation completely off the table," either.

    Few people would argue that the area does not need a makeover. Plans have come and gone over the years, few getting beyond the sales pitch. Some of the area's most ardent defenders warn, however, of rushing to raze old blocks without thinking about reserving some of the architectural history that remains in the area.

    Columbia officials said they planned to preserve three of the area's notable buildings, including the Studebaker Building and Prentice Hall. Preservationists and planners studying the plan, however, urged the university to find new uses for more old buildings while not evicting those who refused to sell.

    "I'm not saying Manhattanville should be frozen in time," said Eric Washington, a local historian who has written about the community. "But if everything is shaved away as it gets old or is unused, it pulls us farther away from our history and the evidence of the story that preceded Columbia."

    John Smith is ready to leave it behind. He is better known as Smitty - a butcher whose Stetson-topped portrait has adorned a few facades along 12th Avenue. For many years, he was the man behind Smitty's Inner City Meat.

    "My name is Smitty," he explained. "We're in the inner city and I was dealing with meat."

    Within weeks he will move to a new store, called Amity Meat, in central Harlem, itself an area that is remaking its image. Everything changes, including Manhattanville, which was crammed with meatpackers when he arrived there in the 1960's.

    "Columbia is buying up a lot of property, I hear," he said. "I'm not averse to that. I think it will be an improvement. Besides, the area here now is pretty desolate. Whatever Columbia does will be an improvement, as long as it gives an opportunity to the neighborhood."

    That is what John Beatty is hoping for, even as he stands firm inside the triangle-shaped building where he runs the Cotton Club (admittedly a latter-day version, since the original was on Lenox Avenue and excluded black patrons). Some real estate types tried to get him to sell, but not lately.

    "Why should I move?" he said. "I'm world famous."

    So is Columbia, and he has no problem with it being his neighbor. "It'll get me more business," he said. "That would be great for me. A lot of students are into history like the Cotton Club and jazz."

  4. #19
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    Columbia University's web page on the Manhattanville expansion:

    http://neighbors.columbia.edu/campus...anningHome.php

    Here's the draft plan for the proposed campus:

    http://neighbors.columbia.edu/genera...p?ID=4500208.0

  5. #20
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Thanks for the updates, tmg! This is such a cool project. This is going to change this northern part of the west side so much. I don't see any opposition at all... that area up there is just ugly. It sures needs this face lift. I love the renderings.

  6. #21
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    A couple of designs



    Daniel Brody

  7. #22

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    That building is already done (1998 I think). It's part of Columbia's Audubon Research Park.

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  9. #24
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    Getting input on Columbia expansion


    By Erik Engquist & Anne Michaud
    September 26, 2005

    The city planning Department has scheduled a mid-November meeting to discuss the potential environmental effects of Columbia University's expansion into Manhattanville, in West Harlem. In preparation, Community Board 9 will hold five sessions, from Oct. 6 to Nov. 9, for Columbia officials to respond to questions about the 18-acre project.

    Crain's reported in April that the Bloomberg administration would delay debate about the controversial expansion until after the Nov. 8 election.

    Meanwhile, the 125th Street BID in Harlem plans to expand. It wants to extend the area it covers--now 125th Street from Morningside Avenue to Fifth Avenue--to include 124th and 126th streets from 12th Avenue to Second Avenue. Chief Executive Barbara Askins says the BID is forming steering committees to pursue the plan, which would need City Council and mayoral approval.

    The BID was established in 1993, when the area's retail activity and property values did not support a BID beyond a small stretch of 125th Street.


    ©2005 Crain Communications Inc.

  10. #25
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    Columbia's Plan To Expand Campus Raises Neighbors' Ire


    By RUSSELL BERMAN - Special to the Sun
    November 16, 2005

    Scores of West Harlem residents and community leaders responded with skepticism and anger last night to Columbia University's plan to expand its campus by 17 acres into Manhattanville.

    As many as 90 people signed up to speak and hundreds more packed a school auditorium at a public hearing before the Department of City Planning to review the university's outline for an environmental impact statement. Most of the speakers asked for more details about Columbia's plan and urged the university to reject the use of eminent domain.

    "At a bare minimum, you must replace the housing and the workplaces of these people that you're displacing," a Harlem historian and member of Community Board 9, Michael Adams, said in comments directed at the university. "Otherwise, it will just continue to be a hostile project," he added later.

    Columbia representatives did not respond directly to the objections raised last night but repeated that eminent domain would be exercised only "as a last resort." The city will accept written comments about the plan until January 6.

    Columbia's $5 billion, 25-year proposal would rezone and overhaul a 35-acre swath of land that stretches from 125th Street to 133th Street and west of Broadway to the Hudson River. The plan, the university says, would accommodate its pressing need for more space and at the same time revitalize West Harlem by adding thousands of new jobs, open space, and retail areas.

    Yesterday's hearing, held in the auditorium of Roberto Clemente Middle School on 133rd Street at Broadway, was designed to gather public comments on the planned scope of Columbia's environmental impact statement, a key document in the lengthy city process for approving major land developments. The dozens of speakers included some who passionately denounced the university's plan altogether and others who simply asked city planners to consider alternatives before deciding to go forward.

    Community Board 9, which represents the area where Columbia wants to build, has drafted its own proposal to redevelop Manhattanville. The board's plan, known as 197-A, limits the areas on which the university can build, guarantees that residents and businesses won't be forced out, and maintains units of low- and moderate-income housing in the area.

    "The 197-A has wide, wide support in this community," the board's chairman, Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, said.

    Columbia has agreed to include the 197-A plan as an alternative in its environmental statement, but community board members yesterday demanded that its proposal be given equal weight in the city's deliberations." The 197-A must be compared topic by topic as a full-blown alternative plan," a board member, Mathy Stanislaus, said at the hearing.

    In pushing its broad, long-term plan, the university repeatedly has pointed to statistics that show it is lagging behind its chief Ivy League rivals in space. In its 17 acres, Columbia wants to build academic buildings, research laboratories, and housing for graduate students and faculty. Since first offering its proposal in 2004, the university also has promoted aspects of the plan that it says will benefit the community at large. Those include nearly 7,000 new jobs, added tax revenue, 50,000 to 70,000 square feet of open space, and an enhanced waterfront.


    © 2005 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

  11. #26

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    No one cared a whit about this place until Columbia proposed building upon it.

    Now it's become a cause celebre used to rally the left against the displacement of a few dozen people and the potential gentrification of surrounding streets. They would rather Columbia intersperse academic buildings in the neighbourhood, ala NYU, but nevertheless in a neighbourhood which consists, rather than of the townhouses and lively streets of a Greenwich Village, primarily of broken-down industrial complexes, tinpot small businesses, the assorted storefront church and a tenement or two. Does New York really wish to reduce its greatest university to this level of provincially-dictated pettiness?

  12. #27

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    Right on, czsz, I couldn't agree more. This kneejerk nimbyism has got to stop; there are limits to political correctness, beyond which it's purest comic opera.

  13. #28

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    Not exactly a lively neighborhood.

    The site, with Columbia properties in red.

  14. #29

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    Columbia should offer to buy and replace the public housing complex immediately to the east -- not move th eresidents, just renovate the buildings add more ground floor uses and more buildings to compliment them -- but this will never happen -- around NYC large complexes like these form the wall up against which regneration stops.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    Does New York really wish to reduce its greatest university to this level of provincially-dictated pettiness?
    I didn't know that NYU was planning on expanding in Manhattanville too

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