Two things that were glossed over in this article and need to be noted:
First, while Dr. Hurley repeatedly states that NYU is seeking to build on its own land, the land that NYU seeks to demap and obtain from the City is in active use as parkland in an area desperately in need of open space. The area in which NYU is located has the second lowest amount of open space in Manhattan! This city-owned parkland includes a community garden, a statue of New York's own Fiorello LaGuardia (and soon-to-be playground for toddlers), a dog run, and a unique open play area for pre-teens where kids can ride a bicycle, rollerskate, use their scooters, and kids and adults can just sit on a bench and read in a safe, protected park.
Second, the rezoning that was breezily mentioned is not only of a large swath of Greenwich Village, it's a major land use change from residential to midtown-level commercial zoning. Greenwich Village already has an overabundance of retail (bars, restaurants, clothing, fast-food, etc), and the neighborhood would be irrevocably changed if NYU is given C6-2 zoning, which has greatly reduced open space requirements (zero open space needed if NYU uses their "community facility" bonus). If they don't get the rezoning, NYU can only build on the current supermarket lot on Bleecker and LaGuardia. Getting commercial rezoning is a blank check for NYU to completely take over a large portion of what's left of Greenwich Village. Hardly a reasonable balance between town and gown.
Alicia Hurley is good at talking, but doesn't communication require listening and response? Not one of the recommendations of the Borough President's Community Task Force on NYU Development has been implemented. Not one. Even though the Task Force was careful to _not_ just say no. The Task Force recommendations were researched, reasoned and reasonable. And ignored by NYU. See the recommendations at http://mbpo.org/uploads/NYUDevReport.pdf
Posted on September 30th, 2010 7:29pm