- Last Updated: 3:44 AM, July 18, 2012
- Posted: 1:17 AM, July 18, 2012
New York University is poised to undergo a massive expansion, despite protests from Greenwich Village residents and faculty members who say the plans are out of character with the quaint neighborhood.
The City Council’s Land Use Committee approved the plan 19-1 yesterday. The full council is almost certain to follow.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin, whose district is home to NYU, ended up supporting the project only after an agreement yesterday to scale back its density.
The proposal was reduced by about 20 percent since it was presented to a public hearing on June 29.
“I wholeheartedly believe that this proposal will allow NYU’s growth in the Village to occur at a sustainable pace and that it will not overwhelm the wider Village community,” Chin said before the committee vote.
Among concessions made are a drop in the size of a building on Mercer Street from 11 stories to four, and a reduction from 14 stories to five for a mixed-use facility of dormitories, faculty housing and retail shops.
The project is still “out of all proportion to what’s appropriate to the neighborhood,” said Patrick Deer, an associate English professor at NYU and a community resident.
He also said the construction — which is slated to begin next year and end in 2031 — will deter top students and faculty from coming to NYU and will drive up tuition costs.
But NYU officials have insisted they desperately need more space to accommodate the university’s growth.