NYU Lawsuit Seeking to Expand in NoHo and SoHo Rejected!

NYU’s 181 Mercer Street building under construction (Michael Young).

We’re pleased to report that yesterday State Supreme Court Judge Gerald Leibovits dismissed NYU’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the provision in the 2021 SoHo/NoHo/Chinatown Upzoning that we had fought hard to secure, which prohibited NYU and other private universities from expanding most types of its facilities into the area. The original rezoning would have allowed NYU and other private universities to locate most facilities in the rezoning area for the first time (after being prohibited by the neighborhoods’ long-standing zoning for decades). But after Village Preservation waged a campaign at the City Council specifically targeting that provision, the Council added restrictions on university uses into the final package. In its lawsuit seeking to overturn that provision, NYU specifically cited our efforts to have this restriction added as part of its legal arguments and justification for its suit.

When NYU announced its suit, Village Preservation immediately undertook a campaign to press the City to vigorously defend the provision in court (during the rezoning process, the City opposed such a provision). Leaving nothing to chance, we also joined with the Coalition for Fairness in SoHo and NoHo and Councilmember Christopher Marte in filing a motion to intervene in the case, to ensure the provision received the robust defense it warranted.

While NYU may appeal the decision, we understand that Justice Leibovits’ decisions have a very high rate of withstanding appeals. We will nevertheless continue to closely monitor and defend our position, as well as all rules and regulations that limit NYU’s ability to ceaselessly expand throughout our neighborhoods

if you’d like to support our ongoing efforts like these to preserve our neighborhoods.

May 17, 2023