LOWER MANHATTAN — Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer gave a conditional thumbs-up Wednesday to New York University's massive 20-year expansion plan.
"We found the right balance between the university's need to grow and the concerns of the community's residents," Stringer said Wednesday at a press conference with NYU President John Sexton.
Stringer's advisory vote in support of NYU 2031 is conditional upon NYU following through on a compromise plan that scales back construction.
The changes will cut the size of the buildings by nearly 20 percent, preserve strips of public park land, eliminate a planned seven-story dormitory and change the phasing of the 20 years of construction.
Stringer's announcement comes two days after Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first public declaration of support for NYU's expansion, which Community Board 2 unanimously rejected on Feb. 23.
The NYU 2031 blueprint calls for four new buildings on the two large blocks bordered by LaGuardia Place and Mercer, West Houston and West 3rd streets.
City Council Member Margaret Chin, who represents these two "superblocks," said elements of NYU 2031 still need to be discussed.
Brad Hoylman, chairman of Community Board 2, said Stringer's decision should not be interpreted as a sign of conflict between the borough president and the board. The plan still must clear the City Planning Commission and the City Council.
"The community board will continue to seek additional changes to the plan in the [public land use review] process at the City Council," he said. "We don't want to sit in the corner and sulk. We want to get something done."
The changes to NYU 2031 will also lower the height of the planned Mercer Building to the same height as the existing Washington Square Village buildings, maintain an equal amount of playground space throughout the construction phase and set the planned Zipper Building further back from Mercer Street.