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Oversight and Planning

Open Space Oversight Committee

The Open Space Oversight Organization ("OSOO") was established in May 2013. It is a 501 (c ) (3) organization with a mandate to review and comment on the design, maintenance, and operation of the public open spaces on the superblocks, as well as review NYU's compliance with commitments made for these spaces. NYU's maintenance obligations are memorialized in a license agreement with the NYC Dept of Parks.

Updated 12/11/15: When public open spaces are complete, OSOO will monitor NYU's ongoing maintenance of the spaces.

Updated 8/11/15: After input from CB2 and the OSOO, the designs for both the Bleecker and LaGuardia Landscapes are expected to be reviewed by the Public Design Commission in early October.  

Updated 2/25/14: NYU sent an update to the OSOO to follow up from the 12/18/2013 meeting. The minutes of that meeting are also available.

Updated 2/12/14: OSOO members held two stakeholder meetings and one public forum in November 2013. OSOO members also attended a meeting in mid December to present a set of recommendations based upon those meetings to the landscape architects.

  • See the OSOO's recommendations to the landscape architects »

    Updated 9/13/13:
    OSOO members met on September 12, 2013 and established a public input process and timeline for advancing the design process. In addition, OSOO members requested a three-month extension of the proposed September 15, 2013 date to December 15, 2013 to ensure a thorough response to NYU on the open space concepts.

    See the OSOO's Letter to NYU »
    See the OSOO Timeline »

    Updated 9/12/13: Following the June 17th site visit, NYU provided the OSOO with initial design concepts on July 1, 2013 for areas along LaGuardia Place, Bleecker Street, and Mercer Street. The University asked that OSOO members  review the concepts with their constituencies and provide written feedback, based on their constituent interactions, by September 15, 2013 to advance the design process.

    See NYU's letter to the OSOO »

    Updated 6/17/13:
    OSOO members toured the open space areas of the superblock sites with Napach Design Group and Nina Kramer Landscape Architects. Areas for consideration were identified and discussed.
Open Spaces on the Superblocks

Areas under consideration for improvement by the OSOO. Click for a larger image.

Updated 6/5/13: New York State confirmed the OSOO's not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status, and the group held an organizational meeting on May 1, 2013.

  • Timing: The Restrictive Dec requirement to create the OSOO by December 2012.
  • Collaborators: Five representatives comprise the OSOO, including one each from the Manhattan Borough President's Office, Council Member Chin's office, Community Board 2, Dept of Parks and Recreation, and NYU.
  • Reference: Restrictive Declaration section 7.3 (a), page 91

Public Space Maintenance and Operations Agreement

NYU will enter into a maintenance and operations agreement ("license agreement") with the Department of Parks and Recreation for the maintenance and operations obligations for the public open spaces on the superblocks.

Updated 12/11/15: The maintenance agreement has been executed. Please view the executed License Agreement.

Updated 8/11/15: The license agreement is currently being finalized.

Updated 12/29/13: Maintenance agreement on hold pending court challenge.

Updated 7/1/13: Drafting terms are underway between NYU and DPR.

Public Space Maintenance Letter of Credit

NYU will post a letter of credit with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation to ensure that maintenance funds are available for the public spaces bordering NYU property on the superblocks.

Updated 02/03/16: Letter of Credit currently being prepared.

Updated 9/16/15: Budget being developed for the open spaces. A letter of credit will be posted for more than the approved budget.

Public Space Endowment

NYU will create an endowment fund, managed by the University, for the maintenance of any new privately owned public open spaces constructed on the superblocks.

Updated 03/04/16: The endowment has been established.

Updated 02/03/16: Establishment of endowment in process.  

Updated 9/16/15: In process.  

Updated 12/24/12: Funding has been identified for the endowment.

Landscape Improvements Compliance Report

NYU will hire an architect, landscape architect, or engineer to inspect new landscape improvements and confirm that NYU has met its obligations according to the Restrictive Declaration. The landscape inspector will issue an annual compliance report, submitting a draft report to the OSOO for comment before it is finalized.

Updated 02/03/16: The first compliance report is to be issued by June 2017, approximately one year after public open spaces have been open.

  • Timing: Compliance reports will be issued annually. The first will be issued no later than June 30th of the year following that year in which the first permanent landscape improvement is completed.
  • Collaborators: The report's format must be approved by the director of City Planning. The final report will be submitted to the Chair of the City Planning Commission and the Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • Reference: Restrictive Declaration section 7.3 (b), page 92.

Public School

The NYC School Construction Authority has the option to build a school which would be incorporated into the Bleecker Building. The SCA must provide NYU with notice of intent to build a school by December 31, 2014, and commence construction by July 1, 2018. In October 2014, at the request of Councilmember Chin, NYU agreed to extend the SCA notice deadline until December 31, 2018. NYU will provide the SCA with annual updates regarding NYU's anticipated construction schedule until the SCA's construction window has elapsed.

Updated 12/17/2015: NYU sent their fourth annual update letter to the SCA on December 17, 2015.

Updated 12/15/2014: NYU sent their third annual update letter to the SCA on December 15, 2014.

Updated 12/12/13: NYU sent their second annual update letter to the SCA on December 12, 2013.

Updated 12/21/12: NYU sent their first annual update letter to the SCA on December 21, 2012.

Financial Contribution for Playground Enhancements

NYU will make a contribution of $350,000 (adjusted for inflation) to NYC Department of Parks and Recreation for improvements at the LMNOP or Washington Square Park playgrounds.

Archaeological Investigation

NYU will undertake a Phase 1B archaeological investigation in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to determine the presence of archaeological resources that may exist in areas as denoted in the FEIS Figure 7-1A on the superblocks.

  • Timing: Prior to construcution in archaeologically sensitive areas identified in the FEIS.
  • Collaborators: The Landmarks Preservation Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office.
  • Reference: Restrictive Declaration section 4 (h), page 36.

Historic Resource Protection Measures

NYU will consult with the State Historic Preservation Office regarding aspects of the new construction, preparing a Level II HABS documentation of Washington Square Village; a Construction Protection Plan for certain adjacent buildings; and historic plaques and markers in the former Sasaki Garden.

Updated 12/11/15: A Construction Protection Plan has been developed for the 181 Mercer Street (the Coles building). Its recommendations have been approved by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and it will be part of the mitigation plans implemented for the project.

  • Timing: To be part of the design/construction due diligence process for buildings on the North Block prior to construction.
  • Collaborators: New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
  • Reference: Restrictive Declaration, section 4.4 (b) page 54.

Independent Construction Monitor

With the consent of the Department of City Planning, NYU will hire a third-party construction monitor to oversee the implementation and performance of NYU's commitments and project components related to mitigation, monitoring, and the environment.

Updated 02/02/16: City Planning has approved HDR as the independent monitor for the project.  

Updated: 12/11/15: City Planning is reviewing NYU's construction monitor choice. If approved, the construction monitor is expected to start in January 2015.  

Updated 8/11/15: NYU expects to hire construction monitor subject to City Planning approval in fall 2015.

Construction Committee Liaison

NYU will designate a liaison to work with a "construction committee" to be set up by the Manhattan Borough President and/or Community Board. The construction committee liaison will address questions and concerns raised by the committee in a timely fashion.


NYU will implement a Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, and Local-Owned Business Enterprises (MWLBE) Plan.

Updated 11/1/13: Certain details of NYU's MWLBE Utilitization Plan have been finalized. Learn more at the in-depth MWLBE Utilization page »

Updated 7/1/13: NYU's MWLBE plan is in the process of being implemented.

  • Timing: From fall of 2012 and throughout construction.
  • Reference: NYU established a set of MWLBE participation goals as it received approval of its Core Expansion project during the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure ("ULURP") in July 2012.

Building Energy Consultant

NYU will hire a qualified building energy consultant to report on the energy efficiency measures for each new building, ensuring that the construction and usage plans will result in at least 10% less energy consumption than the standards set forth in either state or city energy codes.

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