Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NYU Core Final Environmental Impact Statement

The NYU 2031 Core Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) can be downloaded by chapter at Note that Appendix I contains Responses to Comments Received on the NYU Core Draft Scope of Work and Appendix J includes Written Comments Received on the NYU Core Draft Scope of Work and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Status Report on NYU 2031 by CAAN 2031

The Community Alliance on NYU 2031 (CAAN 2031) has prepared an update and next steps document regarding NYU 2031 which we have included below.  (Hat tip: Washington Square Village Tenants Association.)

The NYU 2031 "Core Expansion Plan" is now at City Planning, where review sessions to date have brought some proposed changes to the 2031 Plan. Some of the recommendations include or remove concessions from NYU announced at the Borough President stage. The next review session (no public testimony permitted, but anyone can attend) is expected on June 4, but it is clear that staff members prepare

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Contact Information for all NY City Council Members

Contact information for all New York City Council Members is available at This link can also be found on our Get Involved page. (Hat tip: Washington Square Village Tenants Association.)

New Resources by NYUFASP

New York University Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP) has prepared two documents on NYU 2031: 2031 plan Overview and Timeline and 2031 plan Impacts documents.  Links to these documents can also be found on our Resources page.  You can find NYUFASP on Facebook:, on Twitter @nyufasp, via email:, and on the web:

N.Y.U. flip-flops on what it requires in its 'core'

The Villager printed an op-ed by Andrew Berman, executive director, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, on May 24, 2012 which can be read in full at An excerpt from the essay:
N.Y.U. is asking to upend zoning protections, take over public land and violate urban renewal deed restrictions to allow its Village expansion. In response to questions from the commission about who would be utilizing the facilities N.Y.U. wants to build, we found out that the occupants of the large freshman dorm proposed for the Silver Towers superblock would be students moved there from N.Y.U.’s large freshman dorm located at 23rd St. and Third Ave.

Of course N.Y.U.’s acquisition of the 23rd St. building for freshman dorms was met with great fanfare in 2007, framed as part of the university’s move to think “outside the core” and stop oversaturating the Village with its facilities. Adding to the irony, N.Y.U. has tried to promote its Village expansion plan as one which locates in the core only that which “must” go there. Has the university been unable to function for the last four years with first-year students housed on 23rd St.?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amanda Burden: 19 Months Left to Remake New York

What does Amanda Burden's goals for her tenure as director of the New York City Planning Department mean for the Sasaki Garden and the NYU Superblocks?
“Today, I am thrilled to vote on the department’s latest sustainability initiative,” said Ms. Burden, the director of the New York City Planning Department, her clipped diction and sophisticated dress contrasting with the worn-out rug and metal chairs of her surroundings. Ms. Burden was referring to Zone Green, “the most comprehensive effort of any city in the nation,” she said, to use zoning to spur environmentally efficient building.

It is the latest effort by Ms. Burden to transform the face of New York. Since 2002, when she was appointed to head City Planning, she has overseen the wholesale rezoning of the city, with 115 rezoning plans covering more than 10,300 blocks; by the end of her administration, the department is expected to have rezoned about 40 percent of New York, an unprecedented number.
Read the entire profile at

Friday, May 18, 2012

NYU Superblock Gardens at Washington Square Village

For your consideration, a slideshow of the NYU Superblock Gardens condemned under NYU 2031 has been prepared by Hubert J Steed:
NYU2031 expansion plans call for the construction of several new skyscrapers in the heart of historic Greenwich Village which will be built on this garden, bordering park strips, the comprehensive children's playgrounds, and on a "super block" south of WSV which will destroy a treasured community garden at LaGuardia Place Corner Garden.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

City Planning Commission Review Sessions on NYU

From Community Board 2 Manhattan chair, Brad Hoylman:

Members of the public are able to observe the CPC review sessions on the NYU expansion proposal, although there is no opportunity for testimony or questions from the public. The next review session is on Monday, May 21 at 1 p.m. in Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street. Another public review session will be held on June 4, 1 p.m. in Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street. This is a good chance for the community to stay on top of the proceedings as they are discussed by the Commission. Please check the CPC website for agendas as they become available.

Photo: Butterflies in the WSV Sasaki Garden

Are we all doing everything we can to preserve and protect the WSV Sasaki Garden so everyone will enjoy butterflies and flowers for generations to come?

Red Admiral Butterfly on a Rhododendron Blossom in the WSV Sasaki Garden (source)

A Battered American Lady Butterfly in WSV Sasaki Garden (source)

(Photos courtesy of Hubert J. Steed.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NYU Submission to City Planning Commission

NYU Vice President Alicia Hurley, PhD submitted to the CPC "followup materials to address questions that were raised at the hearing" held on April 25, 2012. The 65-page document can be found online at

Of particular interest to Save the WSV Sasaki Garden advocates is the following category and definition of

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Resource: The NYC Green Book

The NYC Green Book is a directory of "the agencies, offices, boards, and commissions that keep our dynamic City running." The directory includes of city, county, and state information, is available online at, and is searchable.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birdwatching in NYC

Gothamist interviewed Rob Jett who blogs at The City Birder and leads birdwatching tours in Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park. An excerpt from the interview:
On average, the Big Apple sees over 200 species of birds a year. That said, some of the most common species were actually introduced to North America from Europe. They would be Mute Swan, Rock Pigeon, European Starling and House Sparrow. The most common native birds are Canada Goose, Mallard, Herring Gull, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, Song Sparrow and Northern Cardinal.
Read the interview at

Friday, May 11, 2012

NYU 2031 Would Destroy 174 Trees at Washington Square Village

WSV Sasaki Garden and Courtyard Trees Threatened by NYU 2031

Members of the Save the WSV Sasaki Garden Committee surveyed the trees in the WSV Sasaki Garden and Courtyard.  The data was included in GETTING TO NYU’S CORE: GREENWICH VILLAGE PROPOSAL MEANS LESS OPEN SPACE prepared by Hunter College Center for Community Planning & Development (Tom Angotti, Director and Evan Mason, Senior Fellow) for

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Audio-Visual Resources

Time-lapse video of the WSV Sasaki Garden, uploaded May 2011 by WSVTenants

We have reorganized the Resources Page! We added an audio-visual resources section which includes a link to the GVSHP YouTube Channel, a link to the WSVTA YouTube Channel, and a link to the OHNY visits the Sasaki Gardens at Washington Square Village video.

If you have videos or audio recordings of the Garden, please email them to us at and we will add them to our YouTube Channel.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher File Objections to NYU 2031

NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation have retained Gibson Dunn to file suit against the NYU 2031 plan. Gibson Dunn has submitted a Statement of Objections to NYU 2031 to the NY City Planning Commission (CPC).

An excerpt from the statement:
What is at issue here is whether NYU can justify, and whether the CPC will endorse, the severe impacts on the Greenwich Village community, and particularly the NYU faculty,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Real Estate Value of Privately Owned Public Spaces

The $21 million sidewalk: Putting a price tag on privately owned public spaces
by Yolanne Almanzar and Michael Keller posted on The New York World on April 5, 2012 (reprinted with permission)

The strip of pavement outside 180 Water Street, home to the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), may not look like much, but it’s for sale. The building’s owner, Melohn Properties, recently put the tower on the market for $180 million. If the owners get their asking price, this drab stretch of concrete, plus a loading area on the side of the building, will be worth nearly $21 million to them. That’s because the sidewalk is a privately owned public space, like hundreds of others around Manhattan — including Zuccotti Park, home base of Occupy Wall Street.

In exchange for this sliver of sidewalk, public records show, the developers of 180 Water Street received permission to build nearly 47,000 square feet of office space that would not have otherwise been permitted by zoning. Multiply each of those square feet by the current asking price — which we calculate at about $455 per square foot — and the value of privately owned public spaces to property owners comes into sharp focus.

Read the entire article at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

NYU Attacks Greenwich Village With Bloated Plan

From James S. Russell incisive review of NYU 2031 for Bloomberg News:
Just off the narrow, crowded streets of Greenwich Village is a lush, spacious garden of drooping mature willows and sycamores.

New York University, its owner, fights for its destruction.

If the university prevails, two curvy towers shaped like chocolate drops will arise from the garden. The million square feet of new construction are the space equivalent of a hefty skyscraper.....

The garden would be rebuilt and shrink to swirl around two curved, tapering “boomerang” buildings -- as NYU calls them -- that would house mainly faculty offices. The buildings are unbelievably intrusive considering that the university will cram two-thirds of the space underground, and that only two small light wells will relieve the windowless basement space.
Read the entire essay at

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

NYC in May: Great Place and Time to Birdwatch

Northern Cardinal, image courtesy of Hubert J Steed
"New York City is particularly well-sited on the Atlantic Flyway. It’s really a great destination for birdwatching....Starting at the beginning of May and running until about the third week of May, the bulk of migratory birds pass through New York City. The diversity in the spring is highest. Usually, around May 12 is peak diversity in New York City. Of course, the same thing happens in the fall migration..." (from an interview with Glenn Phillips, executive director of the New York City Audubon by City Atlas. The entire interview can be read at

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day Action: Write a Letter to the City Planning Commission

A local resident submitted the following MAY DAY ACTION:

No matter where you live in NY city, you can help stop the massive destruction plan NYU proposes to start in 2013 by writing a hand written note to the City Planning Commission asap. They vote in the project next Monday.

You don't need to give reasons or say a lot, just express your opposition to building in Greenwich Village when there are other sites in Manhattan (primarily in the Wall Street area) that are begging to have NYU locate their massive expansion down there.

You can say something as simple as "I utterly oppose the NYU 2031 Expansion Plan" or you can say, "GOD NO. DO not let NYU destroy the Village." Or anything else you want to say.