Despite being repeated urged by lower Manhattan’s Community Board 1 to build its new tower for faculty housing downtown near the World Trade Center site, New York University is moving ahead with plans to build the project on a university-owned site between Bleecker and Houston streets. The public approval process will begin in earnest this fall. The tower is a key component of the school’s massive 2031 expansion plan.
The proposed building, described as a ‘slender pinwheel tower’ will sit on a landmark site. As such it will require approval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Alice Hurley, NYU’s vice president of government affairs and community engagement, said, “The University will be providing a design presentation to the Community Task Force on NYU Development in June. We will then have a better sense of when exactly our application will be filed.”
The tower will be built in the site known as Silver Towers near NYU’s faculty housing designed by architect I.M. Pei. While the height of the tower is yet to be determined, some published reporters have said the building will be 40 storeys tall. ,p.
Andrew Berman, executive director of The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, expressed doubts the Landmarks Commission will approve the tower. “The open space design by Pei is an integral park of the design and it is inappropriate to build any structure on it,” he said.
NYU’s 25-year growth plan calls for the addition of 6 million square feet of space, half of it in Greenwich Village and the areas surrounding Washington Square Park.