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Build NYU Skyscraper Near Wall Street, Greenwich Village Groups Urge

By DNAinfo Staff on June 17, 2010 2:11pm  | Updated on June 18, 2010 4:55pm

By Nicole Breskin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GREENWICH VILLAGE — Local community leaders and and neighborhood activists have renewed a plea to New York University to build a controversial skyscraper in the Financial District instead of Greenwich Village.

More than a dozen leaders of local groups signed a letter Friday to NYU Vice President Lynne Brown affirming that they  still “vigorously oppose” plans for a the tower, which -- at a minimum height of 38 stories l -- would be by far the tallest building in the Village within a landmarked historic area.

“Because the Financial District is in fact a viable and preferable alternative for NYU’s growth," the letter declared, "we are therefore unequivocally opposed to the university’s proposed fourth tower proposal."

NYU's proposed tower in Greenwich Village.
NYU's proposed tower in Greenwich Village.
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Grimshaw Architects

The letter's writers added that they "intended to vigorously oppose the various public approvals needed for such plans to move ahead.”

NYU’s Brown recently requested a meeting with the Port Authority and Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to find out which sites are available for development.

In April, Julie Menin, lower Manhattan’s Community Board 1’s chairwoman, suggested that the university build its planned skyscraper at the Tower 5 site at the World Trade Center instead. NYU officials were skeptical.

"There are needs that NYU must fulfill in its core area that cannot be fulfilled elsewhere," said John Beckman, an NYU spokesman.

University officials are scheduled to meet with locals in Greenwich Village at a community board meeting on Monday night.

The letter to NYU was signed by members of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the East Village Community Coalition, and the Greenwich Village Block Associations.

The same groups are also part of Borough President Scott Stringer’s Community Task Force on NYU Development.