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West Harlem Rezone to Appease Columbia Foes?

[Manhattanville photo via The Manhattan Institute]

Now that the Upper West Side business is taken care of, the City Council's next big downzoning proposal deals with Manhattanville, the area of West Harlem where Columbia University is looking to build a 17-acre expansion. A point of contention is that the mostly low-rise and industrial area around the expansion zone will be over-developed to hell, and today the Sun's Eliot Brown reports that the city might be throw its weight behind Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer's plan to downzone the area (but allow Columbia to build) and ensure no out-of-scale development on the school's fringes. The Neighborhood Retail Alliance penned a response on its blog:

Can anyone say horse trade here? It certainly appears as if the Bloomberg administration has offered its support for the Stringer plan in exchange for the BP's support of the current Columbia expansion. We can't believe that the support would be unconditional.Meanwhile, the City Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the expansion next week, and the school has yet to strike a deal with the two major private landholders left in the footprint. Oh, and apparently some Iranian dude was at the school, too.
· Rezoning May Ease Columbia Expansion [NYSun]
· Trader Joe Comes to West Harlem [NRA]
· Why Columbia's Community Board 'Defeat' Is Meaningless [Curbed]