The full New York City Council voted 44-1 in favor of New York University’s 30-year plan to expand in Greenwich Village. The June 25 vote follows a vote last week in which two council committees also approved the plan that would add 2 million sq ft to the university’s space.

Rendering Courtesy of NYU
The university's reduced expansion plan includes decreasing the proposed Mercer building from its original 11 stories down to 4 stories and reducing the Zipper building from approximately 1 million sq ft to 980,000 sq ft.

Before gaining council approval, the planned project, known as NYU 2031, was reduced by 26% to 352,000 sq ft, from 1.4 million sq ft.

“This is a great day for NYU, and for New York City,” said John Sexton, president of NYU in a statement. The plan “strikes an important balance: permitting NYU to maintain academic excellence by meeting our educational and research space needs on our existing footprint over the next two decades, while at the same time addressing the concerns of our neighbors on such issues as improving access to open space and furnishing space for a public school or other community use.”

However, members of the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation (GVSHP) and the NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYU-FASP) remain opposed to the plan, contending that it will take away from neighborhood esthetics. They say that the fight is not over.

“It’s truly a shame that the City Council ignored the pleas of thousands of New Yorkers and the vast majority of NYU’s own faculty, staff, and graduate workers to approve this horrible plan,” said Adam Andrew Berman, GVSHP executive director. “We will be working closely with our partners in the NYU faculty and with our lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to pursue every avenue available to us to remedy this tragic wrong which has been imposed upon the people of the city of New York.”

“Any fair judge will send this plan back to the drawing board, so we look forward to our day in court,” says Jim Walden, an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which represents GVSHP and NYU-FASP.