Supporters of New York University's expansion plan, including members of the construction trade, rallied on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday to urge Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to recommend the sweeping plan be approved.
Stringer has 30 days to write a recommendation to the City Planning Commission.
Supporters say the "NYU 2031" proposal would create about 2,400 jobs every year for the next 20 years.
"This plan means thousands of union construction jobs, jobs with good wages, health insurance and pensions. It also means a half-billion dollars of economic output and growing the city's tax base," said Gary LaBarbera of the Buildings Construction Trades Council.
"You can't go wrong with more schools, educating people, you're putting people to work," said NYU 2031 supporter Douglas Murray. "Afterwards you'll have teachers at work and everyone else who works at the school as well. It's a win-win. You can't have a good economy if you're afraid to spend money."
If approved, four new buildings will be added on two "super-blocks," property already owned by the school.
They will include an academic building, faculty and student housing, a new athletic center and even a hotel.
Critics of the plan say it would change the character of the neighborhood.