The following message comes from City Council Member Margaret Chin, who has asked our office to disseminate it to our neighbors. The message relates to a proposal for developing community facilities. The proposal is available upon request via community.engagement@nyu.edu.

From Council Member Margaret Chin:

May 2, 2013

Dear Community Member,

As part of our recent negotiations with NYU over their expansion plan, NYU agreed to dedicate 38,000 square feet of community facility space to be rented at below market and affordable rates to local non-profit organizations. The community facility space was to include room for the expansion of community facilities already operating in Washington Square Village as well as the development of new community facilities.

One of these community facilities proposed to be expanded is Creative Steps, a small childcare center that has been successfully operating in Washington Square Village 4 for nearly 15 years. The new facilities will enable Creative Steps to finally enhance their services and allow them to accommodate as many as 75 children up to five years old in a new 6,000 square foot facility in the same building. Moving forward, Creative Steps will operate its childcare center – open to the public – as part of a new partnership with University Settlement, a long-established and deeply respected organization that provides a range of services across the City.

The expansion of Creative Steps would address the severe lack of daycare facilities in Lower Manhattan. Construction could begin as early as June upon completion of Creative Steps current semester. The facility should be open by January 2014.

The proposal also includes expansion of Visiting Neighbors, a long-standing senior outreach organization, in office space on the ground floor of Washington Square Village 3. For over 40 years, Visiting Neighbors has provided vital senior outreach for 500 seniors in lower Manhattan. Having a new, bigger home in Washington Square Village would locate them more centrally to the people they serve and to a strong volunteer base.

It is essential that we receive community input on these proposals in order to ensure that the community facility spaces we have secured meet the needs and wants of the community. To this end, I would very much like to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and comments with me by emailing my office. You should send these and any questions you might have to Matt Viggiano, my Director of Land Use and Planning, at mviggiano@council.nyc.gov. You can also call my Legislative Office at 212-788-7259.

Sincerely,

Margaret S. Chin Council Member
District 1
New York City Council