Testimony from the Association for a Better New York (ABNY)
Regarding the NYU 2031 Core Expansion Plan
Before the New York City Planning Commission
For the Public Hearing on the New York University Core Project
April 25, 2012
The Association for a Better New York is among the city's longest standing civic organizations advocating for the policies, programs and projects that make New York a better place to live, work and visit. We represent the broad fabric of New York's economy, and our membership includes New York's most influential businesses, non profits, arts & culture organization, educational institutions, labor unions and entrepreneurs.
At ABNY, we know that educational institutions are huge drivers of economic development for our city, not just in the people they employ and the facilities they occupy, but also in the businesses they spin off and the students they bring from all over the world who become New Yorkers, and stay here after school to live, work and start their families.
Over the past several years, NYU has been working hard to balance the needs of the Greenwich Village community with the growing demand for space at the University. The plan that appears before you today represents a true compromise that will strengthen the capacity of NYU while retaining the character of the surrounding community. NYU is proposing to build on its own property without further extending into Greenwich Village, while creating enhanced and more usable open space, and donating land for a future public school. NYU has been responsive and accommodating to the concerns of the local community, and also dedicated to their need for expanded and updated facilities.
NYU's expansion represents an exciting opportunity for New York City--more students from around the world want to come to college in New York than ever before. The City needs to be prepared for that, and we need to ensure that our educational institutions have the capacity, the state-of-the-art facilities, the cutting edge programs, and the connection with the city's other communities, to attract and retain these students here. They will become the workforce of tomorrow, and as we invest in projects like the applied sciences campuses with Cornell and NYU Poly, as we prepare our youth in schools like the DOE's new Software & Engineering Academy, and as we watch the WTC site and Hudson Yards fill up with new and growing businesses, we must be sure that NYU can continue to meet the demand for education that is fueling our city's growth.
NYU's 2031 Core Expansion Plan will ensure NYU is able to remain competitive and successful. This project will create hundreds of jobs and bring more economic development to the area, while supporting our city's rapid growth and providing new amenities to the local community. I urge you to support this plan, which is extremely important for both the University and the City.