Testimony of Rosemary Scanlon
Divisional Dean of the Schack Institute of Real Estate
New York University
Before the New York City Planning Commission
For the Public Hearing on The New York University Core Project
My name is Rosemary Scanlon. I am Divisional Dean of the Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University, and I am pleased to address this important Commission on behalf of the 2031 development plans of New York University.
In my long career here in New York City as an economist and economic planner, and now as a professor and administrator of the Real Estate graduate program at New York University, I can attest to the economic as well as the intellectual importance of education to New York City. I include in this the major role that New York University – NYU-- has long played in the intellectual and cultural life of New York City, as well as the important economic impact of NYU’s presence in the Washington Square area, and in the East Side medical cluster.
New York University has been growing rapidly. In just these past two decades, enrollment has grown by 25%. As a result, total employment of faculty, administrators and service personnel now numbers some 17,500 employees. The forecasts are that growth in student enrollment will be at least moderate and will require the continued addition of faculty and administrative staff in support.
The announcement by Mayor Bloomberg and NYU President John Sexton this week of the Center for Urban Science and Progress to be located in downtown Brooklyn, will also have an impact on the university’s space requirements around Washington Square, for faculty and student housing, and for hotel space for visitors to the campus at large as well as for this new and vital enterprise.
So NYU needs the space: this is projected to be some 240,000 sq. ft. each year for the next 25 years --- space for classrooms, for faculty housing, for a hotel for visiting scholars or participants at university-sponsored conferences.
NYU’s plan is to develop on our existing sites in the Washington Square area, the Sliver Towers and the “superblocks” on the Square.
With this plan we will contain growth at our own facilities – the space we need, and the development rights, are already there. The impact on the neighborhood and character of Greenwich Village will be minimal. This will be a cost-effective development, as well as one that concentrates the additional space the university needs at its core operations.
I sincerely hope that you will agree with me that this plan, New York University’s development plan through to the year 2031, is a vital asset to New York City’s growth in these next twenty years.
Thank you for this opportunity to address this Commission.