Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why East Village residents should still fear NYU's expansion plans

Tonight, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) and other community groups are holding a town-hall meeting to discuss NYU's expansion plans...

Per the GVSHP website:

"Now that NYU has dropped its landmarks application for a 400 ft. tall tower on Bleecker Street in the face of overwhelming opposition ... what does this mean, and where do we go from here in responding to their still-overwhelming plan?"

While this plan specifically focused on the West Village, Rob at Save the Lower East Side! believes we have something to worry about too... As he writes:

East Villagers ought to be alarmed by NYU's decision not to build on its own campus. All voices at the town hall will ask NYU to build in the financial district, but NYU may be looking for closer locations more attractive to their students. That would be our neighborhood.

Although the EV and the 3rd & 4th Avenue triangle have been recently rezoned to cap heights, there are still plenty of available development sites here. 3rd Avenue still allows the same bulk as prior to the rezoning, and it allows more bulk than the NYU dorm that already stands on 3rd Ave at 10th Street. (It's only 5.31 FAR. Under the new zoning, 3rd Ave allows 6.5 FAR for dormitories!) And they can build as high as 12 stories on 3rd Ave -- the current dorms there are only two stories taller than that.

And then there's El Bohio, the old P.S. 64. It's already standing, requiring minimal construction, and it is a huge lot. A dormitory there would end all hopes for a community center. So there's plenty to worry about


The future?

Previously on EV Grieve:
NYU's expansion plan for the East Village


glamma said...

absolutely terrifying.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Don't give them any ideas!

Lisa said...

But PS 64 was landmarked, so how could they build anything on that site besides what's already there?

rob said...

NYU couldn't build without both permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission and a zoning variance from the BSA (the area is zoned for only 75 foot heights). But the building is already standing -- that saves a lot of money -- already empty, which makes it easy pickings, and relatively easy to retrofit (the spaces are large and easily divisible) and it's huge -- 12 lots (the size of 12 5-story tenements), 93,420 sq ft, more than half the size of the dorm they just built over St. Ann's.