Construction on NYU's northern superblock, one component of the university's massive NYU 2031 expansion plan, isn't supposed to begin until 2021, but the narrow strips of land on its outskirts?and the matching strips surrounding the southern superblock?have been a point of contention in the neighborhood for several years already. NYU is hoping to head off some of the opposition with its latest move: asking the city to designate the LaGuardia Place and Mercer Street strips as parkland. If designated?NYU will be filing the relevant paperwork with the Department of City Planning ASAP?they'll remain parkland for the foreseeable future, since getting something un-designated is much harder than doing the opposite.
Of course, NYU still plans to expand, but they've made a few changes so they'll no longer need to count on those two land strips. The so-called Boomerang Buildings are slimmer and less boomerang-like, and the Mercer Street one has been moved in by about 15 feet from the strip on the Mercer Street side. Nor will NYU attempt to use any air rights from the strips in the project, though the space will still be part of NYU's construction staging area.
The university still hopes to obtain two other public land strips within the footprint of the expansion plan: the one next to the Zipper building on the southern superblock and one near the CoGeneration Plant, outside the superblocks. As for how the community will react to this, NYU says its data shows folks are on board: according to an NYU survey of NYC voters, more than 50 percent of Greenwich Village and Washington Square residents support NYU's growth plan. Villagers, what say you?
· NYU's Greenwich Village Superblock Plans Officially Unveiled [Curbed]
· Activists & Politicians Hope to Prevent NYU's Village Land Grab [Curbed]