Dear City Planning Commissioners,
I thank you for the opportunity to submit my testimony regarding the NYU 2031 Plan. As an employee of NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and someone who loves New York City, I firmly believe the NYU 2031 plan is critical to the continuation of the University’s mission to provide an exceptionally high caliber education to students who hail from the City of New York, the United States and the international community and for the university to continue to be an economic engine for the City of New York. The NYU plan is extremely important to New York ‘s economy and to my personal economic well -being and the economic well being of the over 16,000 employees who are employed at NYU. This plan was thoughtfully crafted to minimize its impact on the existing fabric of the village as it proposes additional space for NYU to accommodate its current students and employees who have outgrown the current space provided by the University.
NYU as university exist in a global market place for students and researchers. For NYU to continue to be a strong provider of jobs for many New Yorkers and for it to attract high quality students many of its facilities have to be updated and new facilities have to be built so that the university may better serve its students and its community. The plan due to its high reliance on the non displacement of current businesses or buildings adds additional square footage vertically and below ground while increasing economic activity for local merchants and the City of New York as a whole.
In listening to many of those opposed to this plan I am sadly reminded of the language used in the sixties and seventies to exclude many of our citizens from entering certain areas. Many of those opposing this plan are doing so in a very monopolistic and elitist manner. Among the reasons used to oppose the plan are the following:
All of these reasons are in many ways divisive at worst and elitist as they do not take into consideration that this plan will not change the wonderful aspects of the area such as the shops, the cafes, the boutiques etc that make the SOHO and the village area they gems they are. Instead this plan will make these areas even more viable as it will attract new residents, create new businesses, a more stable employment base which will greatly increase employment opportunities. The plan will serve to enhance the neighborhood status not simply as a quaint wonderful community but also one that is a global leader in education.
By approving this plan you are approving a thoughtful plan to ensure the sustainability of the local Greenwich Village economy, the creation of new jobs during the construction phase and the overall enhancement of the new York Economy. By approving this plan you are approving what should be considered good urban development; a community where one can live, work and play.
Please approve the NYU 2031 Plan.