The plan requires undoing long-standing neighborhood zoning and open space protections and urban renewal deed restrictions, as well as selling off public land used as parks. NYU would shoehorn 2.5 million square feet of space – the equivalent of the Empire State Building! – into an area south of Washington Square Park which simply cannot absorb it. It would drastically tip the balance of this and surrounding neighborhoods. At best, in a mere 20 years, NYU would be back asking for more zoning changes and more public land to expand further.
There are much better alternatives. In the Financial District such development would be contextual and welcome, adding to the diversity of that growing neighborhood. It would be just a few minutes by subway and walking distance from NYU’s main hubs in Washington Square and Downtown Brooklyn. It would allow NYU vastly greater possibilities for future growth, and in a way that would help the city, not strangle and overwhelm some of its most historic and delicately-balanced neighborhoods.