A Preliminary Look at the New Coles

Diamond Naga Siu
Coles has been closed for demolition since February 2016.

NYU submitted a building proposal on Monday for the multipurpose facility that will replace the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center on Mercer Street. The proposal outlined in greater detail the university’s extensive plans for the new building. NYU will now wait for the New York City Department of Buildings’ approval.

NYU spokesperson John Beckman said that the university filed a submission in support of its permit for excavation and foundation.

“Basically, it signifies that the building continues to move forward, which cannot really be news to anyone, given the demolition within the Coles interior and on the Coles plaza that is currently ongoing,” Beckman said. “The intended uses for 181 Mercer… have been known for a few years.”

What remains a mystery is what the building will actually look like beyond the 23 floors — Beckman was unable to provide more clarity on this.

“There are no up-to-date renderings reflecting the architects’ recent work,” Beckman said. “The old images that have been posted by other media outlets were really massing studies based on the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure approvals, not renderings representing the design of the building.”

Beckman said that they look forward to sharing the architects’ work and to soon providing more details about the building once it reaches a more developed stage. The new building will include nine floors of dormitory housing, four theaters, two libraries, two cafes and a number of new classrooms. Most of the athletic facilities will be located underground, presumably in the style of Coles.

Most of the apartments are on the top floors (8-23), while the dorms are situated on the lower levels (8-16). One theater seats 556 people and features an orchestral pit as well as multiple balconies. Athletic facilities include an Olympic-sized pool, a jogging track, exercise rooms on various floors, a varsity performance exercise room and a sports medicine area.

This multipurpose facility is slated to finish in 2021.

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