Plans to expand New York University have been approved by a City Council board last week, passing a modified version of the NYU Core expansion plan. In a nearly-unanimous vote, council members gave the okay to a series of new zoning permits and amendments that allows the university to greatly expand its real estate in the Greenwich Village section of Lower Manhattan.
Seven new buildings will serve as office space, apartments and dormitories for the university. They will be placed in addition to two current apartment complexes, Washington Square Village and Silver Towers, south of Washington Square Park, which house 40% of the university’s full time faculty members.
Some opposition arose, as many residents in the nearby areas expressed displeasure with the noise, dirt, and inconvenience associated with the new construction. Facility members and area residents expressed concerns of the new buildings affecting the Village’s low rise, charming nature and harm to the environment by adding bulky structures and increasing traffic in the area. The university contends that it needs additional space for its 50,000 students and 17,500 employees as the university sees increasing enrollment.
The footprint for the project was reduced 26% from its original proposal. Work on the project is slated to begin in 2014 and will provide additional construction employment opportunities as well as full-time positions with the university, according to John Sexton, the university’s president.