Greenwich Village is a picturesque and predominantly residential community in Manhattan that is centered around Washington Square Park. Although New York University owns a large portion of the properties in the area, it is bursting at its seams.
NYU 2031 is not actually a “master plan” because the landlocked University doesn’t have a blank slate from which to begin. NYU owns several buildings to the north, east, and west of Washington Square Park, which range from low-scale structures to industrial lofts. Located just south of the park are two "superblocks" (each the equivalent of six standard blocks in the neighborhood) that were created as part of a 1950s urban renewal program by Robert Moses. NYU will preserve these existing complexes and build new structures to provide academic space and housing, including a tower with a hotel and a new athletic facility, totaling 2 million square feet above and below grade. Despite the ambitious building plans near Washington Square Park, these additions don’t even meet half of NYU’s spatial needs, so the University has selected several locations around the city to capitalize on other opportunities for growth. Construction will no doubt create noise and disruption within the community, but many residents are also concerned about the plan’s long-term impact on Greenwich Village.
NYU President John Sexton points out that the school up to this point has been very economical with space, providing “approximately half the square footage per student of Columbia, one-quarter of Harvard’s.” As well, it’s impossible to deny NYU’s contribution to the city’s economy – it is one of the 10 largest employers and pays $7 million in real estate taxes annually, not to mention the $30 million worth of free dental work the school provides to New Yorkers.
But do all those reasons justify NYU’s proposed expansion if it could become detrimental to the very neighborhood that has allowed it to thrive? Cook a??a??a?®a?sa?? (?) a?™a??a? a??a?”a?sa??a?? a??a??a??a?•a?”a? a??a??a??a?”a??a??a?? a?›a??a?®a?sa??a?‘a?sa??a?“ a??a??a??a?•a?”a? a??a??a??a?”a??a??a?? a?’a??a?›a?–a??a? a?–a?”. Historically, it was a haven for artists, beatniks, musicians, and lots of students — it is the home of New York University (NYU).

Approaching its 200th anniversary, NYU has examined its options and developed NYU 2031, a plan for growth and expansion within the Village and beyond that calls for 6 million square feet of additional space for academic and housing purposes. Instead, it proposes a three-pronged approach: renovating existing NYU properties in the Village, building new facilities within two NYU-owned “superblocks” and developing a few remote locations.
These buildings are located within historic districts and alterations to them are subject to regulations; therefore, there is little opportunity for expansion.
The 1960s-era NYU-owned buildings that currently occupy the superblocks serve as faculty and graduate student housing. The project team includes Grimshaw Architects, landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, Toshiko Mori, and Arup. NYU plans to move the Nursing School and part of the Dental School to the existing NYU Health Corridor on First Avenue and have hired Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and EYP Architecture & Engineering to design a new 170,000-sq.
Both the Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031 (CAAN2031), a coalition of community groups, and local Community Board 2 (CB2) have expressed concerns. Many of the students themselves become New Yorkers; an estimated 65% of graduates remain in the city. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Arkansas and is a LEED-accredited professional. Not everyone is thrilled with the plan, and the struggle between town and gown has already begun. They include the long, bar-like Washington Square Village complex and University Village, three landmark towers designed by James Ingo Freed and I. The school believes that the proposed plan will help reknit the urban fabric by improving pedestrian flow through the superblocks and providing new green space for the public.

Pei himself objected to NYU’s original plan to build a 38-story tower next to University Village. Her work has been published in Architectural Record, Eco-Structure, and Architectural Lighting, among others. They hope to activate ground floors with spaces such as community galleries, creating mixed-use facilities that also better accommodate their academic and housing needs. Ultimately, NYU withdrew its application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission and redistributed the program, reducing the tower to 17 stories and moving it to another block. She also serves as a contributing editor for the American Institute of Architects' New York Chapter publication, eOculus.
Pei that are situated around a plaza containing sculptures by Carl Nesjar and Pablo Picasso.
NYU has also planned a merger with Polytechnic Institute in Downtown Brooklyn and is exploring the possibility of creating a new academic center on Governors Island. Even still, NYU’s team has a lot of hoops to jump through before moving forward with any construction, including obtaining approvals from the City Council, City Planning Commission, Manhattan Borough President, and CB2.

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