Now that NYU's 2031 expansion plan has been approved, the school is trying its best to make sure the community has every. single. detail. of the schedule and construction plans. At an information session last night with Community Board 2, Alicia Hurley, NYU's VP for government and community affairs, passed out printed info packets of the final ULURP presentation, along with an extensive chart of NYU's main commitments and requirements and when they will be happening. So what's first? Well, no actual construction will begin until sometime in 2014, as NYU doesn't have an architect or construction team yet, so the buildings still need to be designed. Where construction will start is still yet to be decided, but no two buildings will be built at the same time.
NYU is trying to decide which academic departments most desperately need more space, which will inform which building goes first. This really baffled people, with one man practically shouting, "Shouldn't you have figured this out before you started planning?" The first new building will either be the 980,000-square-foot Zipper Building on Mercer Street between Bleecker and Houston Streets or the 170,000-square-foot Bleecker Building at the corner of LaGuardia Place. From the original plans to the approved plans, the Zipper building saw a 6.7 percent reduction in size. The tallest tower, at Mercer and Houston will reach 275 feet, while the lowest will stop at 85 feet along Bleecker Street. The 7-story Bleecker Building lost 55K-square-feet, and it will reach 108 feet high.
In Washington Square Village, where construction will not begin until 2022, the boomerang buildings saw pretty hefty chops. The Mercer building lost 72.4 percent and will be only four-stories. Its counterpart on LaGuardia was reduced by 46-square-feet to eight-stories.
Of course, the community had a number of concerns, most of which we've heard before. Here are a few big ones:
· There was a lot of anger over the destruction/relocation of the Sasaki Garden. This won't happen until at least 2022, but that didn't stop one woman from comparing its possible relocation to the relocation of refugees in Africa. Because community gardens and displaced peoples are equals.
· The deadline for the School Construction Authority to decide whether or not it needs 25,000-square-feet in the Bleecker Building for a new school has been moved up from 2025 to 2014. This really upset CB2's chairman, who was adamant that needs in 13 years could be a lot different than in two years. The city moved the decision date because they want to make sure the space was used for the community if the SCA didn't claim it.
· On still needing an architect: "You should look at the new Cooper Union Buildings, they are much nicer than any of the garbage NYU has built." Others told Hurley they'd be sending her suggestions for architects to work with.
· Faculty members want the quality of life in Silver Towers to be improved. One lady claimed they have "rat invasions" even on the 23rd floor.
So what's happening now? A bunch of different oversight and monitoring committees need to be made, and NYU is building a new website that will host all of this information and a lot more. Fun stuff, people.
· NYU 2031 coverage [Curbed]
· NYU 2031 [official]