New York University has won city certification for its massive campus expansion, and hundreds of area residents turned out for a meeting in the West Village Wednesday night and vowed to fight the school's plans. NY1’s Tetiana Anderson filed the following report.
Greenwich Village preservationist Andrew Berman is ready to stand against New York University’s massive expansion into the neighborhood.
"This is the kick off to the fight,” said Berman. “It starts tonight."
The university just got city certification for what it calls its 2031 plan. That means 1.3 million square feet of new buildings are one step closer to going up just outside of Washington Square Park.
"The buildings we saw were so huge, they dwarfed even the high rises that are here now,” said one resident.
"I'm not the only one on the faculty to think that this expansion plan is a horrible idea," said Mark Crispin Miller, an NYU professor.
A number of people feel the same, and they've been raising their concerns since the expansion was proposed several years ago.
On Wednesday night, neighbors and community activists plotted their next move.
In a statement, NYU vice president Alicia Hurley said, “the certification kicks off a seven month review process… and we are looking forward to continuing to engage in constructive dialogue."
It's a conversation that will continue next week when public hearings about the project start. The opposition is preparing for a battle of biblical proportion.
"It is David and Goliath, but we've won those David and Goliath battles before, and we do have hope because nothing NYU wants to do is currently legal,” said Berman.
The plan still has to survive a lengthy city approval process, including an okay from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. People at the meeting Wednesday said they plan to speak out as loud as possible against the project.