A guide to 2031 NYU expansion plan

Lexi Faunce, Deputy News Editor

What is NYU 2031?

NYU 2031 is a long-term strategy proposed for future growth to address the university’s concern for lack of space. The expansion plan was developed by the administration in conjunction with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s planning efforts. The New York State Court of Appeals announced at a hearing earlier this June that development on academic infrastructure at Washington Square could begin.

What You Need To Know:

The plan outlines a 25-year strategy for locating up to six million square feet of additional territory divided amongst academic space, student services and affordable housing for faculty and students. University expansion will occur in three areas: core, neighborhood and remote. Major development will be concentrated in NYU’s core location of Washington Square in two southern superblocks the university already owns. NYU 2031 also recognizes the need to broaden the school’s location to include areas of the Greenwich Village neighborhood as well as new sites outside of Manhattan such as the Polytechnic Institute of NYU in Brooklyn. The destruction of the Coles Sports Center is also included in NYU 2031, and the gym has a tentative closure date of Nov. 15. NYU has already begun preparing a replacement fitness center at 404 Lafayette Street in order to facilitate a smooth transition into the construction period.

NYU 2031 Advocates:

Supporters of the plan include President John Sexton, various members of the NYU administration as well as outside local businesses in the surrounding Greenwich Village area such as the New York Housing Conference. Opposition to NYU 2031: NYU students have shared their discontent with the expansion plan and subsequent increase in tuition as they circulated “Disorientation Guides” on Aug. 31 outside the Presidential Welcome at Madison Square Garden. A rally on Sept. 1 at Washington Square Park drew more scrutiny to NYU 2031. The rally was led by Whose NYU, a coalition demanding more financial accountability from the university. NYU 2031 has also received some pushback from members of the Greenwich Village community — such as the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation — who are uneasy about the lengthy construction project in residential areas as well as the prospective loss of four public parks.

Statement from the Administration:

NYU spokesperson Matt Nagel said while space is at a premium for NYU, New York State’s highest court ruled no area designated for construction is considered parkland and the plan will not cause additional pressure on tuition levels beyond the current annual assessment undertaken every year to set tuition levels. “NYU will be here for a long time; so will our neighbors. We are determined to work with them, to be sensitive to their concerns, to be good and faithful stewards of blocks, and to have the construction of the new building be exemplary when it comes to mitigating the effects of construction,” Nagel said in an email.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 8 print edition. Email Lexi at [email protected].

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article listed the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development as a supporter of the NYU 2031 plan. The ANHD has no position in regard to university expansion.