MANHATTAN — As the next deadline in the city review process for NYU's proposed 20-year expansion plan approaches, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated his support for the project for the first time.
Bloomberg said at an unrelated press conference Monday that growth is key to the success of New York University.
"In the real world today, to have a world-class university, you've got to keep expanding and doing new things," he said. "NYU is a great poster child for how you run a school.”
Scaling back the plan known as NYU 2031, which would allow the university to add more than 2 million square feet to its campus, could hurt the university, Bloomberg said.
"I certainly think there is a way [to scale back the plan]…I think you can also destroy NYU at the same time," he said.
"In the end, I think playing politics with it is not good for anybody."
Community Board 2 unanimously rejected the plan on Feb. 23, noting that it would harm the quality of life in the neighborhood.
Bloomberg said, on the contrary, that NYU enriches Greenwich Village.
"NYU, and the area that surrounds it, people there — the value of their houses and the quality of their life is because of the proximity of NYU," he said.
An advisory vote on NYU's plan by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is due this week.
NYU 2031 — which would create four new buildings on the two large blocks bordered by LaGuardia Place and Mercer, West Houston and West 3rd streets — will then be subject to votes by the City Planning Commission and City Council.