Justice Donna M. Mills of state Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled on Dec. 7 that portions of the proposed 2-million-square-foot (186,000 square meter) expansion would interfere with public parks and consequently require approval by the state legislature, not just city authorities.
NYU filed a notice of appeal on Jan. 13, said John Beckman, a spokesman for the university. The filing couldn’t immediately be confirmed in court records.
“It is unsurprising that NYU would seek to appeal this loss, blocking its massive expansive project from going forward, but the Greenwich Village community won this case for compelling reasons that we are confident will be affirmed on any appeal,” Randy Mastro, a lawyer representing opponents of the project, said in an e-mail.
NYU’s intended expansion, known as the Sexton Plan after university President John Sexton, is a $6 billion project, according to court filings. It’s opposed by dozens of university departments and divisions.
Professors in the university’s largest school passed a vote of no-confidence in Sexton on March 16, saying he failed to consult with them on the plan.
NYU, one of the largest private nonprofit universities in the U.S. by enrollment, said it needs more space to accommodate a student body that grew by 25 percent from 1990 to 2005 and is projected to increase as much as 0.5 percent annually for the next 25 years, according to Mills’s ruling.
Neighborhood groups, arguing that the plan would overwhelm a cramped historic area, filed two suits in 2012 to block the expansion. State Supreme Court Justice Ellen M. Coin dismissed the first complaint, brought by tenants of a group of high-rise buildings in Greenwich Village. Her March ruling has been appealed.
The cases are Weinstein v. Harvey, 103844-2012, and WSV Green Neighbors Inc. v. New York University, 15550-2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).
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