5 Reasons Why NYU’s Expansion Plan Reeks of 1% Greed
The expansion is a classic too-big-to-fail project — and you or your kids may be picking up the $5 billion tab.
July 30, 2012
It looks like historic Greenwich Village might be getting a loud, expensive, corporate makeover—and you or your kids may pick up the billion-dollar bill.
Last Wednesday, the New York City Council approved New York University’s controversial Sexton Plan (named after NYU president John Sexton), which calls for a nearly 2-million-square-foot expansion of the Manhattan-based university that will convert Kerouac’s haunts and community gardens into ID-access-only dorms and full-priced bookstores. Many fear that the 20-year construction job, which is projected to cost between $4 and $5 billion and is opposed by residents and university faculty, will be funded by generations of future students and possibly even NYC taxpayers.
Of course, 1% real estate deals are nothing new in New York. The landscape of the Big Apple, especially Manhattan, is already a physical manifestation of power unrivaled by any other city in the United States. Despite strict zoning laws and tenants’ rights, the unchecked gentrification and ever-rising skyscrapers attest to the ability of those with money to shape New York City as deftly as a child playing with a block set. From the bulldozing of thousands of low-income units to make way for Rockefeller Center in 1932 to the building of an entire Goldman Sachs village near Battery Park in 2012, New York City is a real estate mogul’s paradise.