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Greenwich Village Residents To Protest NYU's Plan for New Tower

By DNAinfo Staff on November 4, 2010 3:49pm

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GREENWICH VILLAGE — Angry local residents will protest New York University's plan for a fourth tower in its Silver Towers complex this coming Sunday.

As a decision on NYU's design of a new tower within the I.M. Pei designed complex draws near, local residents say the plan ignores better options for a location.

The group, Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031, which is made up of various neighborhood organizations, plans a protest at 2 p.m. Sunday on Bleecker Street, east of LaGuardia Place.

"We will call on NYU and city officials, who must approve their [NYU's] plans, to instead consider the Financial District and other locations for their expansion, where it would be contextual and welcome," read a statement issued by the alliance.

But NYU officials said that siting the tower in the Financial District would not make sense to the academic program, and the overall design of the expansion project, which would include a landscaping overhaul that would add greenspace, would benefit residents as well as the university.

"It's part of a whole plan, it really does all go together," said John Beckman, a spokesman for NYU.

The Landmarks Committee of Community Board 2 is scheduled to vote on the tower design next Monday.

Alicia Hurley, vice president in NYU’s office of university relations and public affairs said a decision from the Landmarks Preservation Commission was expected the first week of January.

Mark Husser, principal architect with Grimshaw Architects, said although the proposed tower would be taller than the other three buildings in the complex, it would have a smaller footprint and have the same square footage as the others.

If the commission did not approve of the tower design, the university would build on land it already owned on the adjacent site, where a Morton Williams supermarket now stood, Hurley added.