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What’s Next for NYU in East Village?

NYU Fourth Tower PlanThis image from NYU’s 2031 expansion plan depicts a proposed tower near Houston and Mercer Streets. It is still unclear how the plan will affect the East Village.

New York University’s so-called “2031 plan” for expansion contains detailed proposals for what it calls its “Core” around Washington Square. What concerns many East Village residents is a larger boundary that the university has drawn around the Core.

University officials call it “the Neighborhood,” and on maps published about the expansion plan it clearly contains the East Village. The Neighborhood figures in the university’s long-term plans, but the specifics remain unknown.

“We can’t live in a world where everything is no, no, no.” That’s New York University spokeswoman Alicia Hurley’s reaction to the welcome she received from the East Village’s Community Board 3.

“We have heard you, and we’re very conscious of your concerns. Our most recent dorm purchase was at 23rd and Third, well outside the Neighborhood.” But in response to discussions with East Village residents she says, “Help us to understand which areas are most sensitive. Are there sites which are under-performing. Are certain types of use acceptable?”

She wonders whether an extension of the Tisch School of the Arts would be welcome in the area. “If you want to just say no, and be afraid, there’s not much I can do. We’re happy for you to coach us.”

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