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NYU Delays Expansion Plans Until January

By Andrea Swalec | November 14, 2011 2:52pm
NYU released the latest design for its 20-year expansion on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011.
NYU released the latest design for its 20-year expansion on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011.
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MANHATTAN — New York University has delayed its plans to seek city approval to add 2 million square feet to its Greenwich Village campus until after the holidays, the university announced last week.

NYU had planned to file by the end of the year its land use review application for the NYU 2031 plan, which would transform two large blocks bordered by Mercer Street, West Houston Street, LaGuardia Place and West Third Street, creating four new buildings in order to add more academic space

The application was supposed to be filed before 2012, but will now be delayed until January at the earliest, the college said.

"The University, working with Community Board 2 leadership, agreed to postpone the start of the official review period until the New Year rather than during the busy holiday season," NYU said in a statement.

The community group CANN has hung a banner on the NYU
The community group CANN has hung a banner on the NYU "superblock" in protest to NYU's expansion plans.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

CB 2 chairman Brad Hoylman said the delay to the start of NYU's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process buys more time for the community to evaluate the project. Under the city's land use process, organizations have to undergo a seven-month review and approval process before they can begin construction.

"The delay of the NYU ULURP gives the community more time to prepare itself for this major land use proposal, which is the largest of its kind in many years," he said.

"Because public input is crucial to this process, we now have the assurance that the process will not come in the middle of the holidays, which could have had a negative impact on turnout at public hearings," Hoylman said.

The ULURP process begins with certification of project documents by the Department of City Planning and is followed by a 60-day public comment period led by the community board.

CB 2 and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer will issue advisory votes on the plan. It will then be subject to approval by the City Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council.

Terri Cude, co-chair of the Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031, called the length of the delay insignificant, but said a short delay was better than none at all.

"Every single day that there's not a backhoe in this area is a good day," she said.

Some Village residents say NYU is overbuilding in the neighborhood and that the construction will create 20 years of noise and dust in the area.

The university revised its plan in September to incorporate additional public park space into the plan.