New York University today announced that it has signed an agreement to lease a new building to be developed on the site of the former Sahara Hotel on 14th Street. The building will be used as a residence hall for approximately 400 upperclassmen. The 16-story, 100,000 sq. ft. facility, which is being developed by Coral Realty, is slated to open for the fall 2000 semester. The agreement calls for a 10-year lease that includes opportunities for periodic review.

Margo Post Marshak, vice president for student affairs, said, “The size of NYU’s student body has not increased in the last few years, but its geographic diversity has changed a lot.

“Fifteen years ago, half the freshman class was from New York City; today, it’s less than a fifth. As NYU’s and New York City’s reputations have flourished, the University has drawn increasingly greater numbers of increasingly strong students from across the country and around the world. This has put great pressure on the University to develop new housing resources, some through construction, some through acquisition, and some, like this project, through leasing.

“We believe that this building and the residence hall we are currently developing on 14th Street replace facilities widely perceived as harmful to the character of the neighborhood. We very much want to work with the community in the Union Square area to insure that the University’s presence there has the beneficial effect we expect. We are eager to address community concerns and prove ourselves good neighbors.”

The building will have on-site professional staffing by the University’s Office of Student Housing and Residence Life, and University security officers will be posted on a 24-hour basis. The facility will feature apartment-style rooms for students, with kitchens, baths and common space; each room will contain the University’s package of telephone, internet and cable TV connections.

New York University, which was established in Greenwich Village in 1831, is one of the largest and most prestigious private research universities in the U.S. Through its 13 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, dentistry, education, nursing, business, social work, the cinematic and performing arts, public administration and policy, and continuing studies, among other areas.

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