Surprise! Mayor Michael Bloomberg Expresses Support for NYU Massive Expansion in the Village – Will this Help or Hurt the University?

(Updated)

NY1 reports: Mayor Bloomberg Stands By NYU’s Greenwich Village Expansion Plans

Why does this feel like term limits all over again? The daily papers all supporting an unsustainable and undesired position completely opposite the wishes of most New Yorkers. The billionaire Mayor on the wrong side. Again. And then, all his city agencies – in this case, the Planning Commission and City Council – will inevitably just fall in line. It’s clear that Bloomberg had already expressed behind the scenes his support of the plan. Mike is always in favor of anything that benefits the developers and corporations. And we know that NYU President John Sexton jumped down to City Hall to support granting no limit of Bloomberg’s term in his up-is-down testimony. As I wrote at the time, “More Bloomberg. More NYU.”

It’s sort of horrifying – if it wasn’t so real.

Hopefully, things can be learned by those issues on which Bloomberg has not “won.” Can someone remind me what those are? I know there have been a few. Westside Stadium, for one. Others? (And when I say “won,” Bloomberg hasn’t really “won” on any of these issues, as much as subverted the democratic process and bought influence somehow – it’s never a “fair” fight.)

Previously at WSP Blog:

* The Blanding of New York City: Why It’s Time for Mayor Mike to Go

* Why Mayor Bloomberg Wants Redesign of Washington Square Park

NYU Proposed Expansion Plan 2031 — Is the Fix ‘In’ With the Bloomberg Administration?

I’m posting previous WSP Blog entries as refreshers on NYU and President John Sexton’s “vision” for the University’s Expansion Plan 2031. It’s a very critical time right now.

It raises the question — is the ‘fix’ in with the Bloomberg Administration? Given this Admin’s history over the last seemingly gazillion years (will his term ever end?), that would not be much of a surprise.

If so, how to stop it?

If her statements at the Community Meeting on NYU Plan 2031 earlier this month were any indication, Council Member Margaret Chin likely does not have the strength to stand up to Bloomberg and Council Member Quinn who will put pressure on her to go along with it.

More at WSP Blog on NYU here.

Community Meeting on NYU Plan 2031 Tonight Wednesday, Jan. 4th, 6:30 p.m.

NYU’s 2031 plan certainly impacts the area around Washington Square Park.

From the flyer for tonight’s town hall meeting sponsored by Community Board 2, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031, and a number of local Greenwich Village Block Associations:

NYU is seeking City approvals to add 2.5 million square feet of space – the equivalent of the Empire State Building! – to the blocks south of Washington Square Park!

One aspect I’ll be reporting more on in the future is the Sasaki Garden at Washington Square Village. For more information, see this recent post at the Local Ecologist Blog: Endangered Sasaki Garden.

A meeting addressing the overall plan will be held tonight, Wednesday, January 4th, at 6:30 pm at the AIA – Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place between Bleecker and W. 3rd St..

From the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

With the new year upon us, it’s time to gear up for the seven-month public hearing and approval process for NYU’s massive and precedent-setting twenty-year expansion plan (see images and more info HERE).  Either we stop the plan now, or we live with it and its consequences forever.

To get organized and informed, and to start letting decision-makers know you want them to vote AGAINST the plan, come to the Town Hall meeting this Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the AIA, 536 LaGuardia Place (Bleecker/W. 3rd St.).  More than fifty community groups from the Village, East Village, SoHo, Chelsea, and Union Square are co-sponsoring the meeting.  Please post and circulate the flyer HERE.

Times and locations have now been set for the following Community Board #2 public hearings on the NYU plan (CB 2 will vote on the plan in February based upon January’s public hearings – this is the first official step in the public review and approval process).

  • Monday, January 9th, 6:00 pm, CB 2 Zoning Committee, AIA 536 LaGuardia Place (Bleecker/W. 3rd).  NYU will present its plans; the Zoning Committee will make recommendations to CB 2 regarding the zoning changes NYU is seeking to allow its plan to move ahead.  A STRONG TURNOUT AT THIS MEETING IS CRITICAL!  (Note: NYU is the second item on the agenda for this meeting.)
  • Thursday, January 12th, 6:30 pm, CB 2 Parks Committee, NYU Silver Bldg., 32 Waverly Pl. (Wash. Sq. E.), rm. 713.  The Parks Committee will review NYU’s proposals to take over and build upon open space and green space and make recommendations to the CB 2.  A STRONG TURNOUT AT THIS MEETING IS CRITICAL!
  • There will also be hearings on the traffic impacts of NYU’s plan on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 pm at the NYU Silver Bldg., 32 Waverly Pl. (Wash. Sq. E.), rm. 520, on its impact upon schools and social services on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 pm at Judson Church Meeting room, 55 Wash. Sq. So. (Thompson St.) (note: NYU is the second item on the agenda at this meeting)
  • and on its environmental impacts on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 pm at the Tony Dapolito Rec. Ctr., 1 Clarkson St. (Carmine/7th Av. So.).