Thursday, March 31, 2005

Eminent Domain Abuse apologists

Subject: Eminent Domain Abuse apologists
Date: 3/31/2005 8:46:45 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

NB - What is not mentioned in this piece is that Alex Garvin (a member of the
NYC City Planning Commission) is also the chief planner for NYC2012 and is
a chief proponent of the WS stadium. The first time I met Doctoroff, he was
accompanied by Alex Garvin, a professor at Yale School of Architecture ...
and represents about everything obnoxious you could think about a
snot-nosed arrogant ivy-leaguer (I can say that as a former Eli). The
myopic kids who started this magazine are former Garvin students, many of
whom hold him up as a God (Garvin is not God, while Eric Clapton and ajen
Jacobs might be).

Like many right-wing think tanks, this is a new effort to inject right-wing
views into the media. If you parse the article you will see ambiguous and
unsupported statements being used as code words ... "depressed" or
"obsolete" to describe existing conditions. The use of phrases "revitalize"
and "mixed use" invariably means city planners and developers coming in
with visions of taking people's homes or businesses.

Their argument to follow a "middle ground" seeks a ruling with holes
arguably larger than what exists now. Just watching the process of the MTA
sale of the rail yards shows how government can say something is necessary
for "real" public value and politicians and the press will just accept it
without scrutiny.

The article suggests using "clawbacks," where developers would be held
accountable for their promises. Anyone who has dealt with DOB, DHCR or
other agencies know that in New York, no one would ever be held
accountable. Even if that were to happen, how does that replace a home or
neighborhood? It reminds me of the plans for Community Benefits Agreements
in Brooklyn. Clawbacks would be hijacked by corrupt Democratic elected
officials (yes, that's a double oxymoron) and groups like BUILD or ACORN.


Subject: TNAC Launches Op-Ed Team
From: "Next American City"
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 22:15:26 -0600

Dear TNAC Subscribers and Fans,

The Next American City has launched a new Editorial Team to address
immediate issues facing cities ­ such as pressing legal cases, federal
policy debates, and local decisions on development ­ to a broader audience
through op-eds in newspapers throughout the country.

This team will be chaired by our new Editorials Editor, Jim Schroder, a
New York-based planning consultant who works with TNAC Advisory Board
member Alex Garvin. You may remember Jim from his recent TNAC article in
issue #7 on how his hometown of Cincinnatti is reacting to the Creative
Class theory.

Last Sunday, the Hartford Courant published the first piece from our team,
"Adding Accountability to Eminent Domain," by TNAC author Annie Lux.

The article focuses on the recent Supreme Court case on eminent domain and
urban renewal, Kelo v. City of New London. It argues that the Court should
not foreclose eminent domain as a tool for urban economic development, but
should lay out more stringent guidelines to ensure that eminent domain
projects actually meet public purposes. I have included the piece below.

If you have any comments on the piece or questions about the Editorial
Team, please e-mail Jim Schroder at

You can look forward to issue #8, with feature stories on The Urban/Rural
Edge and a special section with excerpts from Joel Kotkin's new book on
the history of cities over the past 5,000 years, in subscriber mailboxes
and on newsstands in April.

Thanks very much for your interest in TNAC, and as always let me know if
you have any ideas about the magazine.

Warm regards,

Adam Gordon
The Next American City


Adding Accountability To Eminent Domain


The Hartford Courant, March 20, 2005

In the 1960s, New London believed it could bring business back into the
center city by using the power of eminent domain to replace historic
neighborhoods with highways. The city's strategy backfired. Today, New
London remains a depressed city, replete with vacant lots and a riverfront
lined with obsolete industry.

In a new plan designed to increase the city's tax base and reverse decades
of decline, New London seeks to use eminent domain to condemn middle-class
homes in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood to make room for new mixed-use
development. Several homeowners have refused to sell their properties and
have taken their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The question recently argued before the court is whether privately built
"economic development" projects qualify as a "public use." Although the
Constitution clearly allows government to condemn land for public uses -
such as roads, schools or publicly constructed urban renewal projects -
private development for the purpose of increasing a city's tax base
occupies a grey area. Instead of strictly ruling for either side, the
court has the opportunity to take a middle ground by requiring safeguards
to ensure that "economic development" projects really do give cities
public benefits.

New London undertook an exhaustive planning process and decided that it
needed new development, coupled with a downtown river walk and improved
infrastructure, to lure citizens to a revitalized waterfront. City
officials argue that the proposed retail, housing and office project will
help revitalize the city through increasing its tax base, thus increasing
city services.

Several residents of the Fort Trumbull neighborhood, on the other hand,
see the project as remarkably similar to 1960s urban renewal - a big
government scheme that takes land from individual homeowners, with no
guarantees that the project will provide the benefits that supposedly
justify taking land. Even worse, land is being taken from one private
owner and given to another private owner, not the state.

The Supreme Court faces a tough decision: If it rules in favor of the New
London homeowners, it severely constrains the ability of depressed cities
to improve the economic opportunities available to their residents. If it
rules in favor of New London, it sets a precarious precedent for
condemning any property that can be more efficiently run by another owner
- or, even worse, condemning properties simply because politically
powerful companies with friends in city hall desire them.

The court should find a middle ground by encouraging cities and companies
involved in economic development plans to put their money where their
mouth is through "clawbacks." Clawbacks hold developers financially
accountable for doing what they say they are going to do to promote
economic development. Down the Connecticut coast, New Haven uses
clawbacks. So should New London.

Eminent domain is a powerful tool - one that effectively destroyed many
cities in the 1960s. Yet, this same tool, if cautiously applied, can help
revive these cities. Economic development should qualify as a form of
eminent domain, but only if the law includes further restrictions such as
clawbacks to increase its image and to minimize its abuse.

Annie Lux is an editor of The Next American City, a quarterly magazine
about the ongoing transformation of America's cities and suburbs,
available online at

Copyright 2005, Hartford Courant

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Columbia Panel Clears Professors Of Anti-Semitism

New York Times

March 31, 2005

Columbia Panel Clears Professors Of Anti-Semitism

n ad hoc faculty committee charged with investigating complaints that pro-Israel Jewish students were harassed by pro-Palestinian professors at Columbia University said it had found one instance in which a professor "exceeded commonly accepted bounds" of behavior when he became angry at a student who he believed was defending Israel's conduct toward Palestinians.

But the report, obtained by The New York Times and scheduled for release today, said it had found "no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic."

It did, however, describe a broader environment of incivility on campus, with pro-Israel students disrupting lectures on Middle Eastern studies and some faculty members feeling that they were being spied on.

It said that Columbia's failure to address various student complaints quickly had had a "deeply negative impact" on the university as a whole, had led to an "acute erosion of trust between faculty and students," and had left Columbia vulnerable to criticism from outside groups with their own agendas.

The committee was formed during the winter at the request of Columbia's president, Lee C. Bollinger, after the release of a videotape in which Columbia and Barnard students said they had been intimidated by professors of Middle Eastern studies both in and out of class. The tape sparked widespread concern among Jewish groups, alumni, trustees and activists concerned about academic freedom.

Pro-Israel students said they made the video because they had been unable for several years to get administrators to take their complaints seriously. The film was backed by the David Project, a pro-Israel group based in Boston.

Mr. Bollinger called the report "thorough and comprehensive" and said that he endorsed its findings. He said that within the next few weeks he would announce the steps Columbia planned in response.

Many have already questioned the makeup of the ad hoc committee, pointing out that several members have expressed anti-Israel views. The committee included Farah Griffin and Jean E. Howard, professors of English and comparative literature; Lisa Anderson, dean of the School of International and Public Affairs; Mark Mazower, a history professor; and Ira Katznelson, a professor of political science and history and the committee's chairman.

Floyd Abrams, the First Amendment lawyer, was an adviser.

Some of the report's harshest criticism was directed at Columbia itself, for not having clear processes that would have allowed earlier action on faculty and student complaints.

"As a result of these failures," the report said, "outside advocacy groups devoted to purposes tangential to those of the university were able to intervene to take up complaints expressed by some students."

The report (which is to be posted on Columbia's Web site today) noted that although often combative exchanges occurred between pro-Palestinian professors and pro-Israel students, no students received lower grades because of their views.

But the committee said that after meeting with 62 students, faculty members, administrators and alumni, and reading written submissions from more than 60 others, they were most concerned with three alleged instances of intimidation, all from the 2001-02 school year before Mr. Bollinger took office.

The most credible, the committee found, was an incident involving Professor Joseph Massad, who was teaching a class on Palestinian and Israeli politics. According to the report, a student, Deena Shanker, recalled asking if it was true that Israel sometimes gave a warning before a bombing so that people would not be hurt. She said the professor blew up, telling her, "If you're going to deny the atrocities being committed against Palestinians, then you can get out of my classroom!"

The report said that the professor had "denied emphatically that this incident took place" and had told the committee that he would never ask a student to leave his class. And it said that others in the "particularly tense" class differed about whether the incident, which was never formally reported, had taken place.

But the committee said that in the end, it found the account "credible" and concluded that the professor's "rhetorical response to her query exceeded commonly accepted bounds by conveying that her question merited harsh public criticism."

Reached last evening, Professor Massad said he had just finished reading the report and was still trying to figure out what it meant.

"I clearly disagree with their findings," he said. "I deny the allegations. I do not know on what basis they found them credible. It was a he-said she-said thing. It is unclear on what basis they made the determination that one claim was more credible than the other."

He added that there had been a lack of due process.

The committee said it could not reach similar determinations about two other troubling episodes.

One involved an Israeli student's account of an off-campus lecture by Professor Massad. The student, Tomy Schoenfeld, told the committee that after he identified himself as a former Israeli soldier, the professor asked him twice how many Palestinians he had killed. According to the committee, Professor Massad said that he had no recollection of the event and that he had never met Mr. Schoenfeld. In the end, the committee concluded that the incident fell "into a challenging gray zone, neither in the classroom, where the reported behavior would not be acceptable, nor in an off-campus political event, where it might fit within a not unfamiliar range of give and take regarding charged issues."

The final incident involved the course "Introduction to Islamic Civilization" taught by George Saliba. The report said that a student, Lindsay Shrier, claimed the professor told her after class that she was not a Semite because she had green eyes, and therefore had "no claim to the land of Israel."

The professor told the committee that the student might have misunderstood an argument he often made about the absurdity of making historical claims for land based on religious premises. The committee concluded that "however regrettable a personal reference might have been, it is a good deal more likely to have been a statement that was integral to an argument about the uses of history and lineage than an act approaching intimidation."

The committee recommended that Columbia institute accessible and transparent grievance procedures "geared to the speedy resolution of complaints and the appropriate protection of privacy." It said the procedures should be well publicized. It also called on the university to improve its advising system, and stressed the responsibility of both faculty and students to maintain civil discourse.

"One major lesson for us," Mr. Bollinger said, "is that if you do not have adequate grievance procedures, problems you could have dealt with cascade into bigger problems." But a second lesson, he said, was that the conflict "was not only about the claims of intimidation, but also about the actual debate over the Middle East."

Ink: Columbia and a Chair Endowed With Rust

New York Times E-Mail This
This page was sent to you by: whitmananne [long-time West Manhattanville Business Owner]

The boarded up properties that are strewn with trash are carefully engineered to look as bad as possilble. The for rent signs are a ruse, call the numbers and nothing is available.

The deliberate blight in the area is a Columbia tactic. None of our businesses are anything like the eyesores that they have created. Columbia should also be taken to task on the issue of nurturing fear and intimidation within our community.

Sending letters out that you just can't remain in your building or stating that you can deal with us now, or deal with the state later...not acceptable.

NEW YORK REGION March 31, 2005
Ink: Columbia and a Chair Endowed With Rust
Trash on Columbia’s land is seen as more than just litter.

Click here: The New York Times > New York Region > Ink: Columbia and a Chair Endowed With Rust

March 31, 2005

Columbia and a Chair Endowed With Rust

broken chair rests upside down inside a lot on the southwest corner of West 130th Street and Broadway. The steadfast sentry has braved snow and rain, heat and cold. A melancholy soul would say it is a lonely remnant of a career, a life, a useful past.

Problem is, the chair is hardly alone: broken glass, flattened cartons, old boots and about 20 55-gallon drums holding heaven knows what have kept it company on the fenced-in lot, once home to a gas station. The castoffs - some untouched for months - may speak more to the future, and that worries some local business owners.

The lot belongs to Columbia University, which has been scooping up property in Manhattanville for an ambitious campus expansion. Some people who have refused to sell their buildings fear they may be forced out if the state declares the area blighted, seizes their property through eminent domain and then allows Columbia to use it for the "public good."

That beat-up chair could prove quite useful.

"Columbia has created the blight on purpose," said Anne Zuhusky Whitman, the owner of Hudson Moving and Storage, which is next door to the forlorn chair. "They never had trash in front of that place when the prior tenant was there. Ever since Columbia purchased it, they want to make it look as bad as possible so they can go ahead with their blight story."

She and other owners who refuse to budge said several other Columbia-owned parcels have looked equally trashy. Yesterday, a yard behind the old diner on West 131st Street and 12th Avenue was still cluttered with chest-high weeds, tossed tires, plastic pipe and wooden planks.

"All those random, inanimate objects are symbolic," said Norman Siegel, the lawyer representing seven property owners fighting Columbia. "They demonstrate the fact that Columbia is ignoring conditions and is perhaps hoping the neighborhood deteriorates." He said the university should not benefit from its inaction.

Joe Ienuso, Columbia's acting vice president for facilities management, said he had not heard any complaints about garbage. He added that it was "rather unfortunate" that people would accuse the university of intentionally neglecting the neighborhood.

"There are some barrels in the former gas station," he said. "But it is an area that has a containment fence. It's not like there is any trash on the public sidewalks."

No, that would be at another Columbia parcel on West 130th Street, where everything from fried chicken boxes to a soggy heap of plastic wrap has littered the sidewalk for the past two days.

"Anything that requires attention will be taken care of," Mr. Ienuso said.

Nick Sprayregen, the owner of several buildings in the disputed zone, insists that he will not move. He has written to the university's board, he said, but no one has responded.

"If they take eminent domain off the table, my fight will be finished," he said. "If it is taken off, then we have a level playing field."

Maybe even a tidier one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Click here: Babalu Blog: A letter to Carlos "Useful Buffoon" Santana

A letter to Carlos "Useful Buffoon" Santana

Remember Carlos Santana's attire at the Oscar's not too long ago? You know, the Che Guevara t-shirt I gave him the Useful Idiot Award for?

Well, one prominent Cuban-American musician sent Santana a letter to let him know just what a morally abject jerk he really is. The following is Paquito D'Rivera's letter in Spanish followed by my translation:

"Me enteré por nuestro amigo Raúl Artiles que pronto te
presentarás en Miami; cosa que me parece poco recomendable,
ya que no hace mucho cometiste la torpeza de aparecerte en los
Oscar Awards luciendo con orgullo un enorme crucifijo sobre una
camiseta con la esteriotipada imagen del Carnicerito de la
Cabaña, que es como conocen al Che Guevara los cubanos que
tuvieron que sufrir tan lamentable personaje en dicha prisión".
"Uno de estos cubanos fue mi primo Bebo, preso allí
precisamente por ser cristiano. El me cuenta siempre con
amargura como escuchaba desde su celda en la madrugada los
fusilamientos sin juicio de muchos que morían gritando ¡Viva
Cristo Rey!".

"El guerrillero de la boinita estrellada es algo más que esa ridícula
película de la bicicleta, mi famoso colega; y combinar a Cristo
con el Che Guevara es como entrar a una sinagoga con
unaSwástica (símbolo nazi) colgando del cuello; y es además una
bofetada en el rostro de los jóvenes cubanos de los años 60,
que tenían que esconderse para escuchar tus discos de "música
imperialista", según definían el Rock & Roll en la jerga del
mismísimo atorrante argentino y sus secuaces".

"Perdona que te escriba en español, pero es que no creo que
tenga suficientes palabras en inglés para expresar mi indignación
ante tu irresponsable actitud. Y créeme que a pesar de todo,
como artista te deseo buena suerte, porque la necesitarás,
Carlos… sobre todo en Miami".

In English (my translation skills are almost seriously lacking so bear with me):

I learned through our mutual acquaintance Raúl Artiles that you
will soon play a concert in Miami, something I would not
recommend, as you showed the stupidity of appearing at the
Oscar Awards proudly donning a large crucifix over a tshirt with
the stereotypical image of the Butcher of La Cabaña, which is how
Che Guevara is known to Cubans who had to lamentably suffer
under him at said prison.

One of these Cubans was my brother Bebo, incarcerated there
precisely for being a Christian. The same one who always bitterly
tells me how he could hear from his cell the firing squads at dawn
murdering those who without trials would die screaming "Long Live
Jesus Christ Our King."

The guerilla with the starred beret is much more than what's
depicted in that ridiculous motorcycle movie, my famous
colleague, and combining Che Guevara with Christ would be like
entering a synagogue wearing a Swastika necklace. And it is also
a slap in the face to those young Cubans who in the '60s had to
hide to be able to listen to your records, Imperialist music, as
Rock & Roll was defined in the slang of the Argentinian tramp and
his partisans.

Please forgive the fact that I write you in Spanish, but I just dont
think I have enough words or mastery of the English language to
express my indignation at your irresponsible attitude. And believe
me, as an artist I wish you good fortune, because you will need it,
Carlos...especially in Miami.

Bien dicho, Paquito. Gracias.
Well said, Paquito. Thanks.
Posted by Val Prieto at March 29, 2005 10:05 AM TrackBack


NB: A friend just send me this press release which of course CCNY never deemed necessary to share with CB9M just as they did not deemed necessary to bring their projects to the Board for community recommendations.

One would think that after three and a half years Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President of The City Collegeof New York would know and appreciate that his campus is located right smack in and is a part of Community Board 9 Manhattan, apparently he never got the word or read the City Charter that mandates that all City agencies and dependencies consult their Community Boards with any plans that will affect the community as these plans will.

I suppose he will also be highly surprised when out of necessity CCNY has to appear before CB9M for approvals, concurrances and recommendations about some of these projects and find that the community is not as receptive to them as he may think. JRM

For immediate release

Contact: Mary Lou Edmondson, (212) 650-7808

Ellis Simon, (212) 650-6460


- State Legislature Approves Funding for New Science, Architecture
Facilities -

NEW YORK, February 10, 2005 - An era of new construction, including
three state-funded projects totaling more than $285 million, is about to
get underway at The City College of New York (CCNY). The efforts will
lead to creation of a major science education and research center
located in Harlem and a new home for CCNY's School of Architecture,
Urban Design and Landscape Architecture. The projects included in the
five-year state capital spending budget are in addition to ongoing
renovations at CCNY to the Robert E. Marshak Science Building and other
facilities as well as a dormitory to be built using private funds.

"We are grateful to Gov. Pataki, the State Legislature and the CUNY
administration for their strong commitment to The City College's
growth," said Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President of The City College
of New York, in announcing the projects. "When I arrived at the
College three-and-a-half years ago, I was frankly concerned about
conditions in some of our buildings and laboratories. At the same time
that we increased enrollment, raised academic standards and saw the
amount of funded research triple, we were able to work with receptive
elected officials to guarantee that our facilities will support and
expand these accomplishments. This funding will ensure that we will
become a center for advanced scientific and engineering research in New
York State, and field the most exciting public school of architecture on
the East Coast."

Major expansions at The City College include:

A new, 55,000 square-foot (Phase I) building for the CCNY Science
Division, budgeted at $60 million. The design phase will take place
during the 2004 - 2005 fiscal year, with construction to begin in the
2006 - 2007 fiscal year and to be completed by 2009.

A 190,000 gross square-foot (Phase I) new CUNY science facility, which
will house additional science laboratories for the University's top
researchers. Design is slated to begin in January 2005 with completion
of the building scheduled for 2010. Total cost of the project is
estimated at $176 million and it is fully funded in the five-year
capital budget covering 2004 - 2009.

Conversion of 79,316 net assignable square feet of space in the "Y"
Building on the CCNY campus into a new, $58.6 million home for the
School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture,
designed by Rafael Vinoly with state-of-the-art environmental features.
The budget includes $53.1 million for construction and equipment. The
state previously funded $5.1 million for the design phase.

The new science facilities will house many of the programs now at
Marshak, which has been CCNY's primary science building for over 30
years. The Division of Science has outgrown Marshak due to increased
research activity: when it was built, funded research in Marshak
amounted to less than $1,000,000; last year CCNY faculty brought in $43
million in grants and funded projects. Because its low floor-to-floor
height impedes adequate placement of exhaust and ventilation systems, it
was concluded that Marshak could not be renovated for long-term use as a
research facility.

Long-range plans call for Marshak to house instructional laboratories,
faculty offices, select research spaces, a science library for both
CCNY's Division of the Sciences and the Sophie Davis School of
Biomedical Education and 42,000 square feet of classroom and computer
study space. This will allow CCNY to convert inadequate classroom space
elsewhere on campus to more appropriate functions.

Since 1999, more than $21 million has been invested to upgrade
Marshak's boilers, install hot water circulation pumps,
rehabilitate fuel tanks and improve its laboratory facilities. More
than $33 million has been earmarked between now and 2006 for projects at
Marshak that include roof rehabilitation, facade work, new HVAC systems
and upgraded fume hoods and fans. The capital budget also included $10
million in FY 2008-2009 for design work on Marshak's rehabilitation.

The new facility for the School of Architecture, Urban Design and
Landscape Architecture will include classroom space, design studios,
faculty and administrative offices and student/faculty lounges. It will
allow the school, which is currently on three different floors in
Shepard Hall, to deliver its entire instructional program in
state-of-the-art facilities from one location and give the school a more
visible presence on campus.

Other projects underway at CCNY include exterior and interior
renovations to the Shepard, Baskerville and Compton-Goethals buildings
on the English Gothic quad. In addition, the CUNY Board of Trustees has
approving leasing land on The City College campus for construction of a
privately funded 600-bed residence hall with an estimated cost of $50

About The City College of New York
For over 157 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost,
high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.
Over 12,200 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the
College of Liberal Arts and Science, the School of Education, the School
of Architecture, the School of Engineering, and the Sophie Davis School
of Biomedical Education.

Greenway & Byway: clearing the confusion

Subject: Greenway & Byway: clearing the confusion
Date: 3/30/2005 2:36:26 PM Eastern Standard Time

Sent from the internet (Details)

Greenway & Byway: clearing the confusion

Friends and members of the Henry Hudson Parkway Task Force:

Inaccuracies in an article in the Columbia Spectator of May 28 (“Henry Hudson Parkway Recommended for Scenic Byway Status after Four Month Push” understandably raised a lot of eyebrows among those familiar with the Scenic Byway initiative. Its most troublesome error was its confusion of the Greenway and the Scenic Byway. The attached explanation from the Greenway Office should help clear this up.

If you have other questions, please let me know.

Hope to see you tonight at NYMTC’s meeting: 6:00 at the St. Luke AME Church Center, 1854 Amsterdam Avenue, 4th Floor (at the corner of 152nd St.).


Hilary Kitasei


Barnabas McHenry, Chairman, Greenway Council
Kevin J. Plunkett, Chairman, Greenway Conservancy
Carmella R. Mantello, Executive Director, Council &
Executive Director, Conservancy

The Hudson River Valley Greenway

What is the Greenway?
The Hudson River Valley Greenway is a New York State agency within the Executive Department, established by the Greenway Act of 1991. With the passage of the Greenway Act, the legislature designated the Hudson River Valley Greenway Area, which encompasses 259 communities in 13 counties. The municipalities eligible to become Greenway Communities are located in the counties that border the Hudson River from the Capital District south to the areas of Bronx and New York counties that border the Hudson River and are within New York City’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP).

What is the Greenway Community Program?
The first step in local community participation with the Greenway involves passage of a resolution by the local governing body to become a Greenway Community. The resolution approved through this voluntary process states the municipality’s support of the five “Greenway Criteria”, as stated in the Greenway Act. These five Criteria are: regional planning; economic development; public access; natural and cultural resource protection; and heritage and environmental education. Currently, 222 of the 259 eligible communities have become Greenway Communities and joined the Greenway Community Program. The eligible portions of Bronx County became a Greenway Community in 1994. Manhattan recently passed a resolution to become a Greenway Community in March of 2005.
The Greenway Community Program is designed to encourage Hudson River Valley communities to develop projects and initiatives related to the Greenway Criteria, by providing technical assistance and small grants for planning, capital projects, and water trail and land-based trails that reinforce the Criteria.

Hudson River Valley Scenic Byways Project

National and State Scenic Byways Programs
The National Scenic Byways Program is a state-administered program of the Federal Highway Administration. New York State established its Scenic Byways Program in 1992 with Article XII-C of the State Highway Law. The program is administered by the Landscape Architecture Bureau of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and is guided by the Scenic Byways Advisory Board. The State Scenic Byways legislation encourages communities to make nominations to the State Scenic Byways Advisory Board for their recommendation for designation as a NYS Scenic Byway. Identification of potential byways, organizing a byway group, developing a management plan for the byway, and nomination of a roadway corridor for byway designation occur at the local level.

Hudson River Valley Scenic Byways Project
The Hudson River Valley Greenway was awarded a federal grant from the State Scenic Byways Program to explore the potential for a system of byways in the Hudson River Valley. The Greenway, along with an advisory Steering Committee, is working with NYSDOT to explore the potential for and public interest in establishing scenic byways in the Hudson Valley. Funds from this grant will also be used to encourage the development of and provide assistance to local communities or groups that are interested in seeking designation of roadway corridors as New York State Scenic Byways, and provide technical assistance to municipalities with existing byway segments. The Hudson River Valley Scenic Byways Project is one of several programs administered by the Greenway.

For more information on all of the Greenway’s programs, please visit

CPC upcoming events

[from a list for CPC]

To CPC Members and others interested:
Tuesday Upcoming schedule:
(see detailed information below for theevents listed briefly below)
(1) Harlem Tenants Council Forum,
Wed. 3/30/05.
163 W.125th.

(2) Coalition to Preserve Community MEETING,
Thurs. 3/31/05
521 W. 126th.

(3) Housing Committee meeting, Community Board 9, 4/19/05 , 6:30PM,
565 W 125th.

(4) Monthly meeting of Community Board 9,
565 W 125th.

(5) Week of 4/18
- support for Columbia workers.

(6) Week of 4/25
- demonstration at Columbia by CPC, students,workers and businesses.

The Abuse of Eminent Domain: Enriching the Coffers of PrivateDevelopers and InstitutionsEminent Domain: the power of a government to take privateproperty for public use; the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution & articlesin many state constitutions allow this practice provided just compensation is made.(An analysis of three developments & their impact on neighborhoods: Columbia University’s Manhattanville Expansion, the proposed Manhattan Westside Stadium, & Brooklyn Atlantic Yards.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
6:30 PM
Harlem State Office Building Room 8A & B
163 West 125th Street @ Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.

Guest Speakers -
City Councilwoman Letita James
Patti Hagen, Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn
Cynthia Doty, Coalition to Preserve Community
John Fisher,TenantNet, Clinton Special District
Bonnie Brower, Executive Director, City Project Special report from City Project: Follow the Money Trail! ‘State of Distress: How New York State’s Property Tax Exemptions are Starving New York City’s Treasury’. "Tax exemptions from properties owned by New York State and five state-controlled public authorities--the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), the Dormitory Authority, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), and the Power Authority--currently cost the city at least $1.5 billion a year in lost revenues, or more than 19 per cent of all property tax expenditures.” Sponsored by the Harlem Tenants Council.

For additionalinformation contact
the Harlem Tenants Council,
207 West 133rd Street,
Room 118, New York, NY 10030.
Telephone: 212-234-5005 or
E-mail: harlemtenants'at'
*** Photo ID is required for entrance into the Harlem State Office building.

6:30 PM
St. Mary's Church
521 W. 126th St.

COME TO THE MEETING, In Unity there is Strength

(1) Columbia University is spending big money to convincepoliticians and City Planning to support the zoning changes it must have for its expansion plan. The New York State Lobbying Commission figures show Columbia issecond only to the Jets in spending. Columbia hired Kramer Levin Naftalis & Franklin "to influence Community Board 9, the City Council, the Manhattanborough president, and the city Planning Commission" according to a March 14 article in the New York Sun. The Coalition to Preserve Community (CPC) has askedCouncilman Jackson and Senator Schneiderman and other politicians to inform us of any contact from lobbyists hired by Columbia.(2) Columbia President Bollinger stated in the Chronicle onHigher Education (3/25/05), "It's not unthinkable to have a Columbia of 100,000 students a century from now." There are 112,000 residents in Community Board 9 (2000 census). Does CB 9 have to be Columbia Board 9? Will the community 197 A plan be respected? (3) The CPC is working with businesses, workers (both atColumbia and in theexpansion area) students, and community members to continue our own lobbying campaign. We have lots to report about things we are doing and we need all of you to participate in activities and help plan them. Come out.Join in our demonstration in April at Columbia.
For additional information contact:
Coalition to PreserveCommunity (CPC),
P. O. BOX 50 Manhattanville Station,
365 West 125th Street,
New York, NY 10027.
Call: 212-666-6426.
Or email: bfrappy24'at'

United for an Open and Strong Community
Unidos por una Comunidad Abierta y Poderosa
POST OFFICE BOX 50 - Manhattanville Station
365 West 125th Street
NEW York City, New York 10027



(1) La Universidad de Columbia est 'A1 gastando un mont de dinero p=ara convencer a los pol 'ADticos y planificadores de la ciudadpara que apoyen= el cambio de zona el cual ellos necesitan para implementar su plan deexpansi . Las= estad 'ADsticas de la Comisi de cabildeo del Estado deNueva York = presentan a Columbia en el segundo lugar en gastos de cabildeo despu 'A9sde los Jets.= Seg 'BAn un art 'ADculo publicado el 14 de Marzo, en el peri 'B3dico"The New York Sun", Columbia contrat 'B3 la firma "Kramer Levin Naftalis & Franklin " paraque 'A9st=a influenciara Junta del Distrito 9, al Consejo Municipal, a laPresidencia d=el Condado de Manhattan, y a la Comisi de Planificaci deNYC. La Coalici para Preservar la Comunidad (CPC) le hasolicitado al conc=ejal Robert Jackson y al senador Schneiderman, entre otrospol 'ADticos electos=, informaciones sobre cualquier contacto con los expertos encabildeo contrata=dos por Columbia.

(2) El presidente de Columbia, Bollinger, plante 'B3 en lacr ica de Educaci Superior (3/25/05), "No se puede ni pensar ver a Columbia con1OO mil estudiantes en los pr 'B3ximos cien a 'B1os." Hay 112,000residentes en el Distrito Comunal 9 (seg 'BAn el censo del 2000). Piensa Columbia adue 'B1arsedel Distrit=o Comunal 9? Ser 'A1 respetado el plan comunitario 197A? (3) La CPC est 'A1 trabajando conjuntamente con los negocios,trabajadores (tanto dentro de Columbia como en la zona de expansi ),estudiantes, y miembros de la comunidad para continuar nuestra propia campa 'B1a decabildeo. Tene=mos muchas informaciones que compartir con todos ustedes, ynecesitamos que adem= 'A1s se integren y participen en la planificaci de lasactividades.


[please pass on / note: you can e-mail items on the blog]

West Side Thruway Takes a Scenic Turn Into History

Click here: Columbia Spectator - West Side Thruway Takes a Scenic Turn Into History

West Side Thruway Takes a Scenic Turn Into History
Henry Hudson Parkway Recommended for New York State Scenic Byway Status After Four Month Push
By Lauren Melnick
Spectator Staff Writer

March 29, 2005

Former city planner Robert Moses’ dream of the “great highway that went uptown along the water” is close to achieving another dream: it may soon become an official New York State Scenic Byway.

A section of the Henry Hudson Parkway stretching along the West Side of Manhattan from W 72nd Street to the Bronx/Westchester border was recently recommended for scenic byway status by the Hudson River Valley Greenway, a state agency which works with local organizations to preserve regional scenic, natural, and historic points of interest. If the recommendation passes, the Parkway will become the first scenic byway in New York City.

A scenic byway designation would make the area surrounding the highway eligible for federal and state scenic byway funding and would eliminate competition with other transportation projects such as mass transit. Hudson River communities in Manhattan would have access to free technical advice, community planning or project grants, leverage for other transportation and grants from councilman, restoration of lands that have been neglected, and public open spaces for art. It could even lead to more green space and better preservation of nearby parks.

The New York State Scenic Byways Program, created in 1992, is a locally-driven effort designed to bring attention to the roadway corridors in the state that have regionally significant scenic, natural, recreational, cultural, historic, or archaeological resources.

The designation is a victory for some New York City groups that have been campaigning to turn the Parkway into a scenic byway for several months. The Henry Hudson Parkway Task Force, a subgroup of the Riverdale Nature Preservancy, has led the way. They have worked with groups including the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council and New Yorkers for Parks, a city-wide parks advocacy group, to push for the designation.

Other local groups have also played a major role in securing the new status. The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc., a community-based cultural arts and preservation organization, and Community Board 9 have been working to ensure that Manhattan would be eligible for scenic byway designations.

Last December, the Art Fund in conjunction with the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, CB9, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, the Riverside Park Fund and the Community League of the Heights completed the waterfront and economic development study “Take Me to the River.” The study was designed to improve access to the northern part of Riverside Park between 145th and 155th streets and from Amsterdam Avenue to the Hudson River.

While attempting to realize the study’s recommendations, Savona Bailey-McClain, founder and president of the Harlem Art Fund, learned that the City was ineligible for funding because Manhattan officials failed to pass a resolution for its participation in the New York State Scenic Byways Program. She alerted Rick Mueller at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President and Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, Chair of CB9, to this fact. Shortly thereafter, CB9 passed a resolution that would clear the island for Byway Program consideration. Mayor Bloomberg approved the resolution in February, and it was presented to the Board of Directors of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Conservancy on March 9th.

The advocacy groups are just halfway through the process of turning the Parkway into a scenic byway. In order to secure the benefits of a byway status designation, various community groups must put together a corridor management plan for their area. The plan has to address the long-term goals, maintenance, and management of the byway as well as suggested actions to reach and sustain those visions and goals. It also identifies the participants, both individuals and organizations, who have committed to the plan, and details their responsibilities.

“We are arranging to get together with our colleagues at CB7M and CB12M to devise a joint plan that will be beneficial to all three districts,” said Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, chair of CB9M.

Local community boards and organizations have already begun consideration about how the funds should be allocated. Among other ideas, CB7 is currently considering reigning in billboards and abating noise in parks adjacent to the parkway.

“The community has not expressed any specific concerns in particular as this process is only beginning, but the normal concerns about preservation and beautification have been expressed by various Board members,” Reyes-Montblanc said.

Community boards, elected officials, and city organizations with an interest in the Parkway corridor have been asked to send representatives to a meeting hosted by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council to meet Nancy Alexander, director of the New York State Scenic Byways Program, to learn about how the corridor management plan for the Henry Hudson Parkway Scenic Byway will be developed. This meeting will be held on March 30th.

West Side Thruway Takes a Scenic Turn Into History

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Invitation to DYCD's YouthWeek 2005

In a message dated 3/29/2005 2:31:33 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:

Subject: Invitation to DYCD's YouthWeek 2005
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 17:42:51 -0500
From: "Corniel, Cristian"
To: "CB9M"

Dear DYCD constituent,

On behalf of NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav, you are invited to attend the April 18 Kick-Off event for YouthWeek 2005.

Please see the attached invitation and information.

YouthWeek 2005
April 8 to April 16, 2005


Date: Friday, April 8, 2005
Where: John Jay College
899 Tenth Avenue (between 58th and 59th Streets)
When: Town Hall Meeting (Gerald W. Lynch Theater)
1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M.

Public Service Career Fair (4th Floor Gym)
2:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Sponsored by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, City Year,
and Children for Children, YouthWeek 2005 will focus on youth volunteerism and
community service. It will mobilize young people, public officials, civic leaders, and
community groups to work together in a series of borough-wide service projects.
Youth will LEARN, SERVE, and REPRESENT their communities.

For more information, go to

New York City Department of Youth and Community Development
Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor Jeanne B. Mullgrav, Commissioner

YouthWeek 2005

YouthWeek is an annual event sponsored by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) that brings together young people, public officials, community groups and corporate leaders to focus on an issue of importance to the City’s youth. The theme for YouthWeek 2005 is community service. This year’s YouthWeek is being presented in partnership with Children for Children and City Year New York and will culminate with National Youth Service Day on Saturday April 16th. Together, DYCD, Children for Children and City Year New York will mobilize hundreds of NYC youth to learn, serve and represent their communities through various service projects.

YouthWeek 2005 will include three major events from April 8th through April 16th.

Kick-Off Event (Friday, April 8th)
· Who: Speakers to include: Mayor Michael Bloomberg (invited), DYCD Commissioner Mullgrav. Attendees to include: Members of the media, Americorps program representatives, corporate sponsors, and hundreds of NYC youth interested in community and public service.
· What: A) The event will announce YouthWeek to the public and the media via a press conference and town hall meeting on how to engage youth in public service careers.
B) City Year will host 2nd Annual Americorps Service Fair, targeted at 16-21 yr olds.
· Where: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 10th Avenue
· When: Friday afternoon (Town Hall: 1pm-2:30pm, Service Fair: 2:30pm-6pm)

Borough-Based Beacon Events (Saturday, April 9th – Friday, April 15th)
· Who: Beacon youth, Beacon staff, community members, parents, corporate sponsors.
· What: Five borough-specific community service events anchored around local Beacon programs, leading up to National Youth Service Day on Saturday April 16th. Each Beacon will develop a different community service project depending on their resources, program activities and the needs of the local community.

· Where: Beacon sites in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens.
· When: Most events will run between 3pm-6pm in the afternoon to allow for maximum student participation; 150-250 students are estimated at each site.

National Youth Service Day (Saturday, April 16th)
· Who: 400+ youth, corporate sponsors, community members, city officials, volunteers from the Mayor’s Office of Volunteers and sponsor organizations.
· What: Large scale service project: clean-up of Pelham Park.
· Where: Pelham Park, the Bronx.
· When: Saturday morning and afternoon.

Pataki sabotages clean fuel buses

[this is from ]


9:30 AM
You can sign up to speak 30 minutes before the board meeting



Amid pomp and circumstance, Governor Pataki came to West 133rd
Street in 2000 and committed that the New York City Transit would convert
the largest bus depot in Northern Manhattan to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
Yet on Thursday the MTA board may vote on shifting its clean fuel bus
purchases away from CNG without discussing these issues with the
communities dispropotionately burdened by these disel bus facilities.

If New York City Transit will not discuss these public health
issues with affected community residents, now experiencing an asthma
epidemic fueled by the disparate exposure to toxics present in diesel soot, then we demand that the Governor come to Harlem personally and make the case to the people prior any vote by the MTA board.

Last February we discovered that the MTA would renege on their
plan to convert the Manhanville depot through a New York Times report
and again yesterday we discovered through another New York Times report
that the MTA was shifting gears and would no longer purchase Compressed Natural Gas buses.

The Northern Manhattan community will seriously consider the
Governor's action or lack thereof as the 2006 election for Governor
proceeds. The State should not default on its substanstive committment to the public
health of a vulnerable community without respectful discussion with that
community of the rationale for a changed dicision.

The historic treatment of Northern Manhattan communities that
bear the disproportionate burden of diesel pollution as evidenced by the
soaring asthma hospitalization and deaths has been an ongoing dispute
between the MTA and the Northern Manhattan community which is home to six of the seven diesel bus depots located in Manhattan.

.. For more information please call Yolande at 212-961-1000 ext 316 or

Yolande Cadore
Director,Community Organizing and Outreach
Tel:212-961-1000 ext.316
E-Mail:yolande 'at'

"No permanent friends;no permanent enemies; only permanent

please notify friends in our community of this urgent appeal - Mary

Energy Conservation Under Attack

RE- Energy Conservation

[from a list]
New York Climate Rescue urgently asks for your help in maintaining a very important organization in NY. One of the reasons that New York State has been so progressive relative to other states on renewable energy and energy efficiency is the existence of NYSERDA - The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority. NYSERDA was created and funded through what is called the "Systems Benefit Charge" (SBC) which goes DIRECTLY to NYSERDA.

Well now the legislature is trying to get its hand on this money by re-directing the funding from the SBC to the general budget, meaning that NYSERDA will have to have its funding approved by the legislature through the yearly budget. This has ostensibly this is being done to "make NYSERDA accountable", but remeber that this is legislature which was judged to be the WORSE, most UNDEMOCRATIC state legislature in the country.

Please refer to an article published in the Albany Times Union:

This change has the potential to disrupt and weaken the State's energy
efficiency and renewable programs. I would encourage you to contact
the legislature to express your concerns about the proposed changes.
Please forward this as widely as possible - the future of funding for renewable energy in New York State is in serious jeapordy!

Regards, Marc [NYCR]

The list of the key contacts is as follows:

Speaker Sheldon Silver
NYS Assembly
518-455-3791; 518-455-5459

Senator Joseph Bruno
Senate Majority Leader and President Pro Tem
518-455-3191; 518-455-2448

Assemblyman Paul Tonko
Chair, Energy Committee
518-455-5197; 518-455-5435

Senator James Wright
Chair, Energy Committee
518-455-2346; 518-455-2365

Members of the GENERAL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE (which leads the Legislature's efforts to reconcile differences between Assembly and Senate financial plans in order to
reach an agreement on a state budget for the 2005-2006 state fiscal
Sheldon Silver (see above)

Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell,Jr.
518-455-5491; 518-455-5776

Assemblyman Paul A. Tokasz
518-455-5921; 518-455-3962

Assemblywoman Rhoda S. Jacobs
518-455-5385; 518-455-3881

Assemblyman Charles Nesbitt
518-455-3751; 518-455-3750

Senator Joseph Bruno (see above)

Senator Owen Johnson 518-455-3411; 518-426-6973

Senator Dean Skelos 518-455-3171; 518-426-6950

Senator Nicholas Spano
518-455-2800; 518-426-6906

Senator David Paterson
518-455-2701; 518-455-2816

Perspectives on Expansion: Part One in a Five-Part Series on Campus Planning

Perspectives on Expansion: Part One in a Five-Part Series on Campus Planning
Fordham's Expansion Plan: Grow Upward, Not Outward
By Emily Schwarz
Spectator Senior Staff Writer
March 21, 2005
While expansion is synonymous with Manhattanville for the Columbia community, other universities are also developing their campuses to accommodate expanding programs and entice the best faculty and students with modern facilities.
Fordham University, another of New York City’s major universities, plans to develop its Lincoln Center Campus not by expanding into the surrounding community, but by redeveloping land it currently owns. Nevertheless, like Columbia, Fordham must work with its community and the city to ensure that development does not change the feel of the neighborhood. Residents are worried the height of new buildings might create a fortress-like campus and block the light of adjacent buildings.


Reverend Robert Grimes, dean of the College at Lincoln Center, explained that Fordham has planned to develop this site for almost 10 years due to an increasing space crunch. The 8,000 students currently on campus far outnumber the 3,500 it was originally built to hold.
Elizabeth Schmalz, assistant vice president for public affairs, wrote in an e-mail that Fordham currently leases more than 90,000 square feet in nearby buildings to alleviate overcrowding. The current plans would double Fordham’s available space.
“We never imagined that the [Lincoln Center] campus would be so popular. We now have to accommodate these students,” Grimes said.
The Lincoln Center Master Plan, which will unfold over 25 years, includes several phases. In the first $300 million phase, which will span five to six years, Fordham will build a new 16-story law school, a five-story campus center, and expand the library to eight stories. Grimes said that during the first stage, Fordham will build mostly on undeveloped land, which is currently used for basketball and tennis courts. This phase also includes a 26-story dormitory at 60th Street and two apartment buildings, which will be 47 and 57 stories, respectively.
The last major construction project completed at the Lincoln Center campus was McMahon Hall, an 821-bed residence hall built in 1993.
According to Fordham’s press release, future phases include the construction of additional space for the Schools of Business, the Graduate School of Social Service, the Graduate School of Education, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, and additional dorm space.


Since the Lincoln Center area is already a high-rise-dense neighborhood, Fordham believes that its plans to build tall buildings will not greatly affect the character of the neighborhood.
“The development will not change the nature of the neighborhood. It’s just that people don’t want their view blocked. It doesn’t seem to me that there’s any massive community opposition,” said Conrad Obregon, the university’s former assistant treasurer, who left Fordham a year ago.
Obregon added that the nearby Lincoln Center arts complex has not opposed Fordham’s plans because it also plans to expand in the near future and therefore wants to maintain good relations with the university.
Penny Ryan of Community Board 7 said that, while her community board does not have a clear stance on the development because it has not yet seen Fordham’s master plan, there are some community members who are upset about the fact that their light and views will be blocked when the land is developed. For example, The Alfred, a large apartment building on the same block as the campus, will lose its light when a new 57-story private apartment building is built at 62nd Street. This new apartment building is one of two private buildings that will be built on land that Fordham will either sell or lease to private developers in order to finance its projects.
Fordham’s plan is currently being reviewed by the NYC Department of City Planning. After that step, CB7 will have access to the plan and be able to give comments and suggestions. Ryan said that CB7’s role is only advisory and the 60-day period it has to comment gives the public an opportunity to have their voices heard.
Fordham’s application to City Planning includes several variances regarding zoning and land use. Schmalz explained that Fordham has filed an application to seek relief from a city law limiting building height to 200 feet, or 20 stories, on Fordham’s site. The buildings included in the proposed plan would range from five to 36 stories. The university may not even need the exemption; unless it is renewed by authorities, the law will expire in January 2006.
Fordham will also seek permission to surpass the minimum distance a building must be set back from the sidewalk. “The proposed Fordham plan seeks to build out to the sidewalk for two reasons: to engage pedestrian traffic with active use facilities on the street level and to preserve our open green space, central to the campus, for university and public use,” Schmalz explained.
Obregon said that Fordham can build most plans “as-of-right”—without any review from community boards, City Planning or the City Council—and the university’s requested zoning changes are minor and would simply allow for more architectural flexibility.
Ryan explained that about 10 years ago, after a new Loews movie theater and large tower was built in the area, there was a movement within the community to enact height restrictions. As a reaction to growing sentiment, the Lincoln Square Urban Renewal Program was started, which restricted the height of buildings in this area; however, the program expired in 1997.
While the community has not yet had access to Fordham’s plans, Ryan said she predicts there might be opposition to plans to build such tall buildings since there was earlier resistance to Loew’s development.
Grimes said that he has not yet heard of any community opposition and added that in his opinion, Columbia is dealing with a “much more contentious neighborhood” than Fordham. He said that he thinks Fordham has a history of positive relations with the surrounding community.
Ryan agreed that Fordham “does not have a bad relationship with the community, but they have not been sharing” their resources.
The Fordham Graduate School of Social Service has some programs to help residents, such as offering legal advice for families and immigrants and literacy programs.
Grimes said that the university has recently begun to expand its programs, but Ryan said she thinks that the increase in services is related to the university’s plans to develop.
“Development of our facilities will provide additional opportunities to serve the community both on and beyond our campus,” Schmalz wrote.

The Plan

The Lincoln Center Master Plan has been in development since 1996 when Fordham contracted with Cooper Robertson & Partners, an architecture and urban design firm.
“The plan was created with the participation of the deans and the faculties of the schools housed at Lincoln Center to address the program need, both current and future, of the academic programs: Fordham College at Lincoln Center, School of Law, graduate schools of Business Administration, Education and Social Service,” Schmalz wrote.
Obregon said that Rev. Joseph M. McShane, who has been president of Fordham for two years instituted a strategic plan in which the Fordham faculty discusses the future size and direction of the University.
“The design plan for the site is quite good in that it retains Lincoln Center’s open space as a traditional university ‘Quad,’ as well as giving priority to a new student center and a new library. These are issues that the Lincoln Center faculty and administration have long felt to be important priorities,” explained Rosemary Wakeman, an urban studies and history professor, in an e-mail.
Fordham doesn’t just want to create more classroom space, but also to put an emphasis on providing more housing for its growing student body. “The student population [at Lincoln Center] has changed,” explained Obregon. “There are less commuters because now even people from New York want to live in a dorm.”
McShane told The New York Times that Fordham wants “to make sure we maintain at the center of campus the green space that has been so much a community resource for the last 40 years. We’ll make it far more accessible to the public than it has been.”
The development will be financed in part by private donations, the tuition from increased enrollment, bonds, and the revenue from selling or leasing part of the university’s land to a private developer who plans to build two private apartment buildings.
“No contention surrounds the decision by the Board of Trustees to sell or lease the two parcels of land along Amsterdam Avenue for private residential development,” Schmalz added.
“Fordham expects to raise approximately 30 percent of the cost of development from private donations. Other anticipated sources of funding to date include university funds and university debt,” wrote Schmalz. This revenue will be used to create a permanently endowed campus development fund for the project.
Perspectives on Expansion: Part Two in a Five Part Series on Campus Planning
Penn Builds off Past Developments for Postal Lands Project
By Emily Schwarz
Spectator Senior Staff Writer
March 22, 2005
PHILADELPHIA-- After 30 years of discussion, the University of Pennsylvania acquired 24 acres of land to the east of their campus that was previously owned by the United States Postal Service. Unlike Columbia, Penn’s expansion plans into the “postal lands” do not require the university to relocate any residents or businesses.
Although this current expansion plan is limited to the development of a contiguous, vacant plot of land, in the past, Penn has devoted large amounts of energy and funding to developing the surrounding neighborhood, West Philadelphia.
While the university is proud of the connection they’ve made with the community as a result of the neighborhood development, some members of the community are less enthusiastic. In 2004, after years of development in West Philadelphia, the president of the University of Pennsylvania, Judith Rodin, promised that the university would never expand north or west into the University’s adjacent neighborhoods.
But as the university plans to use the Postal Lands to satisfy its future space needs, there are still some ongoing construction projects in the community immediately surrounding the school and to the West of campus.

Neighborhood Development

Unlike Columbia, Penn began its development in West Philadelphia in response to major problems in the community. Rodin said in a speech given on March 4, 2004, that “crime had increased dramatically from 1983 through 1993. One in five residents lived below the poverty level. Shops and businesses were closing, and pedestrian traffic was vanishing. Middle-class families were leaving, and more houses were falling prey to abandonment and decay.”
“Only one entity had the capacity, the resources, and the political clout to intervene to stabilize the neighborhood quickly and revitalize it within a relatively short time period. And that was Penn,” Rodin said.
According to Anthony Sorrentino, Director of External Relations for Facilities and Real Estate Services, Penn is the largest employer in Philadelphia and has a $3 billion budget, the same as the city. The university plays an important role in the city and was one of the few entities that could take on this development project, he said.
Omar Blaik, the Senior Vice-President of Facilities and Real Estate Services, explained that although many people fled the neighborhood, there was a small group who remained during the late 1980s and early 1990s and worked to develop programs to improve the community. This group asked for “safe streets, clean streets, more people from Penn living in the neighborhood, additional services, and better public education,” said Blaik.
Blaik said he thinks that once Judy Rodin, who grew up in West Philadelphia, became president in 1994, the university began to work with the community to address these concerns.
“The change that happened was that the administration actually listened to the neighborhood. This was an earth-shifting move. The homework had already been done by these community members who toughed it out and knew first hand what the neighborhood needed,” Blaik said.
Responding to residents requests, Penn gave $24 million to build a public elementary school, called the Penn Alexander School, which serves 700 students. The school receives curriculum guidance from the Graduate School of Education, but is under the jurisdiction of the city of Philadelphia. Penn Alexander won the inaugural William T. Grant Foundation Youth Development Prize in March 2003.
Penn increased the number of street lights and hired more university police officers to increase safety. The university also added trees and signage along the sidewalk and streets.
“Having large crowds on the streets has made the neighborhood safer and much more exciting. It’s been a shot in the arm for the local economy. And it’s made University City very attractive to outside private developers,” said Rodin in her speech in March 2004.
In an attempt to bring stability to the community, Penn created a program called the Neighborhood Housing Preservation Fund, in conjunction with Fannie Mae, in which Penn-affiliates receive $15,000 towards the down payment on their mortgage or renovations if they buy a home in West Philadelphia. This program was initiated not only to reduce the high number of rentals in the neighborhood, but also because homeowners are more likely to invest in the community and create a more stable neighborhood.
In order to increase economic development in the community, Penn created several retail strips. They built a large supermarket that is used by residents and university affiliates, along with a movie theater, restaurants and stores, an inn, and parking. The university even bought and transformed a former church into an arts center for the community called “The Rotunda.” Penn also sparked economic development by initiating a “Buy West Philadelphia” program, which according to Sorrentino, has generated millions of dollars in revenue for the area. In this program, the university purchases all of its goods, such as catering services, from local stores.
Penn’s development of West Philadelphia not only aims to serve the neighbors, but also the faculty and community.
“Penn was suffering because we were seen as being in a neighborhood that’s undesirable. We can’t attract the best students and faculty,” said Blaik.

Community Relations

But the picture is not completely rosy.
Reverend Larry Falcon, a member of Neighbors Against McPenntrification, said that Penn “assumes that it can determine the future of 40th Street,” a major site of commercial development. Falcon alleged that the school only brings in big chain stores because they “make the suburban students feel more comfortable.” He said that these chains block local stores and create homogeneity in the community.
Falcon stated that he is not against development per se, but that he is “opposed to the way it’s happening and the fact that people are being displaced. Property values have tripled within the catchment area for the public school, and many low income people will not be included.”
Neighbors Against McPenntrification emerged when Penn was trying to relocate a McDonald’s at 40th and Walnut Streets. Falcon argued that Penn wanted to move the McDonald’s further west because “it welcomed unwelcome people into the Penn community.” He said that Penn planned to move the McDonald’s into a poor neighborhood before pressure from his group and others forced them to change their plains.
Sharrieff Ali, the head of the Spruce Hill Neighborhood Alliance, took a less harsh view of Penn’s expansion than Reverend Falcon. He described Penn’s development as “enlightened self-interest.” It is important to remember that Penn’s “business is education, not community development. And, Penn’s has broader community development than most universities,” he added.
Ali explained that while there are always people who lose out under development plans, he thinks that Penn has clearly thought out its development plans and provided benefits for the community.
“Look at the results,” Ali said. “They’ve been wonderful. The neighborhood is clean, property values have gone up, and safety has gone up. There has been no massive displacement or adverse gentrification. Even economic diversity still exists.”
He encouraged those opposed to this development to think about Penn’s position and “consider Penn’s circumstances and the fact that it is trying to provide for its needs.”
Two years ago, the Spruce Hill Neighborhood Alliance developed a comprehensive development plan, the Spruce Hill Renewal Plan, which won an award for excellent community planning. Ali said that he thinks this plan, which outlines how residents would like to see this area developed, has greatly helped relations with the university.
“The university knows exactly want the community wants and we can refer back to the plan when we negotiate or when they propose something different,” Ali explained.
According to Ali, the university’s relationship with community groups has grown stronger over the past decade. Penn officials seem proud of the school’s performance and the services it has provided to community members, students and staff.
“The feeling I get is that many think that Penn has become a much more welcome neighbor. We have worked hard to achieve this,” Carol Scheman, Vice President for Community and Government Affairs, told the Daily Pennsylvanian.

The Postal Service Lands

In March 2004, Penn finalized a $50.6 million deal that allows them to take control of the lands in 2007. Currently, there are parking lots, post office buildings, and a garage on the property.
The postal lands, a 24 acre site, lie between Penn’s campus and the Schuylkill River. Downtown Philadelphia is on the other side of the river, across a somewhat dangerous bridge; in the near future, Penn hopes to build a new pedestrian bridge to unite the university with the city center.
Sorrentino said that in the short term, the property will be used for athletic fields, “since there is not much open green space for students.” In the future, the land will be mixed-use, including retail, but will primarily house academic buildings, a biomedical complex, athletic fields, green spaces, and possibly some market-rate housing.
Olin Partnership, a firm headed by Laurin Olin, an architecture professor at the university, designed Penn’s Campus Development Plan, which was released to the Board of Trustees in February 2001. This plan includes guidelines for the postal service project, as well as other developments extending west to 43rd Street and the creation of a pedestrian path stretching to Drexel University. The Schuykill River Development Corporation, which has been working for years to connect West Philadelphia to Center City, is another partner working with a number of different public and private organizations—including Penn—to plan the future of the area.
Sorrentino said that the development’s planning involved input from both students and faculty. Penn has a committee of professors who not only give advice as to how the space should be allocated to each department, but also comment on the urban planning and design aspects of proposed projects.
The postal lands development, Sorrentino explained, will be financed by borrowing $200 million, as well as collecting alumni donations, and private commercial investment. Penn does not plan to tear down the current Postal Service building, but hopes instead to convert it into academic space. Until 2007, the University will lease 220,000 square feet of this office space back to USPS.
Blaik emphasized the importance of acquiring space for urban universities. “Elite universities are not growing by numbers, but in square feet.”
Blaik outlined three reasons why universities are focusing on acquiring more space: to compete for the best and the brightest by offering top-notch facilities; to increase science research by building more labs; and to create partnerships with private companies who want to be nearby and will occupy space.
Through the development plan, Penn hopes to “make the campus more cohesive” and prevent any noticeable disconnect between the current campus and the expanded area, Sorrentino added.

** Correction Appended

Perspectives on Expansion: Part Three in a Five-Part Series on Campus Planning
Harvard Plans For Expansion Involve Nearby Community
By Emily Schwarz
Spectator Senior Staff Writer
March 23, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, MA-- Like the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University plans to expand along the riverfront abutting its campus, in this case the Charles River. But, unlike Penn, Harvard’s plans involve expanding into the nearby neighborhood of North Allston, not an empty lot.
Because of this, Harvard provides a good comparison to Columbia’s Manhattanville expansion, since both universities must acquire smaller parcels of land in a privately owned neighborhood.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, a city agency, want to ensure that Harvard’s development benefits city residents. The BRA wants to see renovation of a shopping plaza, new housing on Harvard properties, and new retail.
Since 55 percent of the land in Boston is occupied by tax-exempt institutions, most of which are universities, Mayor Menino is particularly interested in making sure that Harvard’s development and investment benefits the surrounding areas.
The North Allston community, which is part of the City of Boston, has also been working with the university to ensure that their vision for the neighborhood is incorporated into the development plans. “No one is really upset because Harvard is promising them so much. In general, people are cautiously optimistic,” said Debby Giovanditto, a North Allston resident and chair of the Charlesview Residents Organization.
Harvard is a few steps behind Columbia in its plans to expand into 200 acres of North Allston, but it has already created several faculty planning committees and hired a New York-based architecture firm, Cooper Robertson and Partners, to develop a general plan for Allston and to determine how the development will serve Harvard’s future academic needs.
Lauren Marshall, the university’s vice president for Public Relations, wrote in an e-mail, “We are at the beginning of long-range, multi-decade process. In planning for Allston, we are guided by Harvard’s academic aspirations and needs long into the future.”
Over the next two to three years, Harvard plans to expand their law school and science facilities in the North Yard area and to construct new graduate student housing along the river, according to the expansion plans presented in February 2005. Jackie O’Neill, director of Communications and External Relations, said that Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers is focused on improving the sciences, the School of Education and the School of Public Health, as well as expanding residential options, including housing for the community. As of now, Harvard does not have any specific plans about which buildings will be developed in Allston.
Harvard has a “space crunch and would like to build state-of-the-art facilities to attract and attain great science people. Universities by their very nature have to change and grow. New disciplines have to be accommodated,” O’Neill said.

Third Party Purchases

In 1997, it was revealed that Harvard University had been purchasing individual plots of land under the names of different real estate organizations since the 1980s. Harvard had acquired more than 50 non-contiguous acres of land in different parts of Allston. Once discovered, these clandestine purchases created tense relations between the Allston community, the City of Boston, and the BRA.
O’Neill said the university originally decided to purchase the land in this manner to avoid being charged an unreasonable price by sellers who thought that they could name their price if Harvard was the buyer.
“The way we acquired the land was controversial, but it’s common practice if you’re an institution. I’m not sure it was such a big secret, but elected officials don’t like to be surprised. We suffered after we went public. We were behind the curve with City Hall and with the community,” O’Neill said.
Francois Vigier, the director of the Center for Urban Development Studies, said that Harvard was “burned for its arrogant behavior and is very conscious of its need to be careful.”
Harvard now purchases all of its properties under the university’s name and has worked to improve its relations with the City and the Allston community by providing services and retail. Since 1997, Harvard has given $20 million to the City for an affordable housing program, donated a new public library, revitalized a shopping center, and funded over 200 summer jobs for teenagers in 2003.
Kevin McCluskey, director of Community Relations, told the Harvard Crimson, “We’re working with a terrific mayor who cares very deeply about every neighborhood in the city and understands that there are some very real benefits that can come from Harvard’s growth for everyone involved.”


After centuries of encroachment in Cambridge, “by and large, people [here] don’t want more Harvard development,” O’Neill said.
Since development opportunities are limited in the immediate neighborhood, Harvard recognizes that the only space available is in Allston, the area adjacent to Cambridge on the other side of the Charles River. Harvard owns almost 200 acres of land in Allston, much of which consists of vacant warehouses, rail yards and industrial land. Currently, Harvard has its business school, athletic fields, and some office buildings in Allston. Soldier’s Field, the university’s athletic venue, has been in Allston since 1898.
The North Allston Strategic Framework for Planning, a four-year plan developed by the Allston community, the City, and Harvard, was finalized at the end of last year. Harvard will use this plan as a guideline for growth and economic development in North Allston.
“It’s nice to have clarity about who you’re negotiating with. We have a strong mayor and well-established and organized community. So, we can have discussions around concrete objectives,” O’Neill said.
“Harvard is very pleased today to mark this initial step that strengthens the partnership among the university, the city, and the Allston community, and that will help guide the university’s own planning efforts for Allston,” President Summers told the Harvard Gazette. “It is important to the university that we continue to work with the city and the neighborhood to meet the needs of both a livable community and of a world-class teaching and research institution.”
O’Neill also said that Harvard plans to “make short-term improvements that will benefit both the community and our own affiliates” while the university plans with the state and city more long-term, expensive development.
Since the exposure of Harvard’s purchases, the university has continued to invest in the North Allston community. In December 2004, President Lawrence H. Summers committed $1.2 million toward neighborhood improvements.
This investment will fund a new career and business resource center, the Allston/Brighton Resource Center on Western Avenue, relocation assistance for Harvard commercial tenants, a study to determine possible locations for new and existing businesses, landscape improvements for 175 North Harvard Street, Brighton Mills and Smith Fields, and a neighborhood park. Harvard has also already funded a transportation study to measure the community impacts of the development projects.
“Allston neighbors are poorly served by transportation,” O’Neill said. “They’ll have public transport from the university. I think, personally, that the public needs to have access to transport until the city gets in there.”
Mayor Menino told the Harvard Gazette, “The early action projects funded by Harvard University illustrate their long-term commitment to making the vision the community has articulated throughout the four-year planning process a reality.”
O’Neill said that she thinks the Allston development will greatly benefit from the economic development that will come as a result of Harvard’s expansion. “What we build for ourselves, we build for the community,” O’Neill said.
“The community has stable leadership. They welcome the idea that Harvard will transform a place that’s not really a place. Allston is geographically isolated from city,” O’Neill added.
Giovanditto, on the other hand, spoke with pride about her neighborhood. “We’re in a great location; we have a supermarket, a department store, a new library.”
The Charlesview Residents Organization represents a housing complex in Allston currently being bought by Harvard. The board of this complex has been debating whether they want to stay in Allston while Harvard builds around them or relocate to a new location Harvard finds.
She said that most Allston residents recognize the many positives that can come from Harvard’s expansion. She said that Harvard is “handing out money,” and the residents hope to take advantage of these new developments.
“At the moment, Harvard is buying everything for the community. But, the moment that they don’t adhere to what the community asks for, people will revolt,” Giovanditto said. “The city attempts to keep Harvard in line, and if not, there will be a revolt, and that will bring Harvard bad press.”
Giovanditto said that some members of the Allston community want more affordable housing, better transportation, and their own school, since the school that currently serves the community, Brighton High School, is “hideous and over-crowded.”
While Giovanditto said that she thinks that Harvard has worked with the community, she doesn’t think that Harvard will ever be a part of the Allston community.
“Our goal is to keep Harvard contained, rather than to divide the Allston community. The students are transient and will never really be part of the community,” Giovanditto said.


Harvard hired Cooper Robertson and Partners to develop a plan for their Allston Campus June 2004.
“Their task is to create a broad planning framework, including initial street and block patterns, open spaces, building density and height recommendations, as well as potential program locations and transportation improvements. This work is still underway,” Marshall wrote in an e-mail.
She added that during the planning and design processes, Harvard would continue to work with the Allston community and the City through their community-based strategic planning process.
This development will be funded by university funds, a private philanthropy campaign, and debt financing, according to O’Neill.
Last year, four faculty task forces were created to address four areas of development President Summers put forward with respect to the Allston development, Marshall wrote in an e-mail. These task forces include science and technology, undergraduate life, professional schools, and the Allston Life Task Force—which includes housing, culture, and transportation. The four task groups have already produced preliminary reports and recommendations that will be incorporated into Cooper Robertson’s plans.
Harvard is going to “try not to build at new campus, but make it an extension of the existing campus. Charles River will become the center—it’s now perceived as the periphery. We will therefore need efficient transportation to accommodate class schedules,” O’Neill said.
Brian Shea, a partner at Cooper Robertson and Partners who is working on the lands for Allston, said that while Harvard’s subcommittees have been helpful in determining what the academic use of the campus will be, the university is “finding some of the reports to be too idealistic, and now a lot of them have to cut back. That’s being reviewed by the advisory committee.”
Shea explained that one big issue for Harvard is the fact that they have many graduate schools, and that “historically, their graduate schools did their own planning, their own financing, their own buildings—the university has never done any central planning. So, at Harvard the first issue is to try to develop a comprehensive plan in a historical environment where a comprehensive plan had never been done.”
Another issue that complicates Harvard’s development, according to Shea, is the fact that the university is located in two cities, Cambridge and Boston, and must therefore take into consideration the different city laws and community needs.
Vigier outlined three important topics for Harvard to keep in mind when developing in Allston. First, he said that it would be most efficient to move a whole school’s faculty to Allston, even though it would cause students from other faculties to have a long commute between classes.
Shea said, however, that none of the graduate schools want to be the first ones to cross the river. The graduate schools all say, “We don’t want to move to Siberia,” Shea said. “No one wants to become part of the first phase.”
Secondly, Vigier said he thinks that creating a transportation link between these two campuses will be important to uniting Allston to Cambridge. “There are no realistic plans yet. They’ve considered building a tunnel under the river, or a monorail,” Vigier said.
Finally, Vigier argued that Harvard must think about how to create “a sense of urban community. This is not done with teaching buildings, but with housing, apartments, and the development of a commercial core. they must create a 'mini Harvard square.'"
** Correction Appended
Perspectives on Expansion: Part Four in a Five-Part Series on Campus Planning
Surrounded Downtown, Pace Looks to Grow by Leasing
By Emily Schwarz
Spectator Senior Staff Writer
March 24, 2005
In November 2003, the president of Pace University, David A. Caputo, launched a five-year improvement plan to raise the school to Tier II status in the U.S. News and World Report annual college rankings. While this plan focuses on developing the university’s academic resources, Pace has also looked to expand physically. Pace’s Lower Manhattan campus faces unique constraints because its neighborhood is so highly developed and because of grants made available to developers in Lower Manhattan after Sept. 11th, 2001.
Frank Gehry, a prominent architect, is designing a skyscraper near the school’s Lower Manhattan campus. Pace had planned to lease 50,000 square feet of space in the new building and move its business school there, and to build new residence halls. But in November 2004, the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, increased prices in the building, and the deal fell through when Pace refused to foot the bill. To the community’s satisfaction, a public school will now occupy part of this space.
Pace’s failed attempt to expand its campus illustrates the often-fragile relationship between developers and universities. Richard Whitfield, Pace’s executive vice pesident for Finance and Administration, said Pace has learned that “campus development and involvement in any project is complex. Even with the best plans and the best intentions, things can go wrong. When they go wrong, you have to step back and revise.”
After losing access to this space, the university has commissioned an external study to determine its space needs and which buildings in Lower Manhattan might be feasible places for Pace to lease or purchase. Unlike the other universities featured in this series, Pace is located in Lower Manhattan where there is very little vacant land, and so, Pace must look to acquire space in existing buildings.

The Ratner Building

In the 1950s, the area where Pace’s downtown campus is now located was designated an urban renewal zone. Jordan Gruzen, a partner at Gruzen Samson [sic], an architecture firm that works in Lower Manhattan, explained that under this designation, the existing buildings were torn down and new buildings were built, including Pace University’s main academic building and NYU’s Downtown Hospital. However, a parking lot in this area, owned by the hospital, was never developed.
The hospital has only recently realized its plans to develop on this land, in the form of a one million square foot, 70-story multi-use building. The hospital hired Forest City Ratner Companies as its developer and in December 2003, Ratner purchased the land from the hospital, on the condition that the building include clinical space.
“The whole genesis of the project is the sale of the hospital land,” argued Paul Goldstein, the chair of Community Board 1, who hold local jursidiction.
According to Goldstein, the hospital is severely in debt and in poor condition. “We have to accept a huge building because the hospital wanted to gain every possible dollar out of the sale of their land,” he said.
Since the area is no longer an urban renewal zone, there are no restrictions on the use of the land, explained Michele de Milly of Geto & Demilly Inc., the public relations company representing Ratner, in an e-mail. “The building will conform to all existing zoning regulations and there are no limitations on the site,” said de Milly. “Forest City Ratner Companies has been working closely with government agencies to accommodate these important community facilities and amenities into the development,” such as retail space.
The bottom 24 floors were designated for Pace University and the hospital. Pace planned to lease 330,000 square feet. There is also a 45-story residential tower, retail on the ground floor and below-ground parking.
Pace planned to include dormitories, its business school and offices, an art gallery, and community space for the public in its portion of the building. Whitfield said that this project was valuable because of its proximity to Pace’s other academic buildings, and because of its magnitude, which would have brought visibility to the school. Also, Whitfield explained that with growing interest in the university’s dance and forensic science programs, there is a greater need for both lab and studio space.
After Sept. 11th, the federal government allocated money in the form of Liberty Bonds for commercial and residential development to help stimulate the economy of Lower Manhattan. Tax-exempt commercial Liberty Bonds are distributed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and residential Liberty Bonds are managed by the New York City Housing Development Corporation. The housing in this complex will receive residential Liberty Bonds, and commercial Liberty Bonds were designated for the construction of the 24 floors to be occupied by Pace and the hospital.
“We’re pleased that the Liberty Development Corporation has approved the use of Liberty Bonds for this vital project, which will enhance the city’s educational and health care infrastructures and generate jobs and economic activity in Lower Manhattan,” Bruce C. Ratner, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, told the Liberty Development Corporation, the umbrella organization in charge of allocating the Liberty Bonds, in May 2004.

Ratner Deal Falls Through

But in November of last year, Ratner told Pace that it had underestimated the construction price and the university would have to pay the same price, about $180 million, for 30 percent less space in the new building. At that point, President Caputo said that Pace would end its negotiations with Ratner.
Ratner’s decision to increase the price of development, forced “Pace to reconsider its plans for downtown expansion,” President Caputo stated in a Pace University press release on Nov. 3, 2004. “We have no intention of abandoning the downtown that has been our home for nearly 100 years. But neither will we financially jeopardize academic programs and scholarships for this project.”
Caputo said that Ratner made this decision “despite a signed term sheet specifying basic concepts and details, and after 11 months of good faith negotiation including discussions facilitated by a broad spectrum of city and state officials.”
Once Pace backed out of the project, it was determined that a public school would occupy some of this space the university had planned to occupy. According to Goldstein, neighbors are happy that there will be a public school because it will better serve the needs of the community.
Ratner lost the commercial Liberty Bonds designated to the space Pace was intended to occupy. According to a New York Times article by David Dunlap published on Nov. 4, 2004, Ratner said that after losing the Liberty Bonds, it “would seek low-interest financing from the city and state available for residential projects that reserve 20 percent of their units for affordable rentals.”

Pace’s Current Development Plans

Having lost space in the Gehry building, Whitfield initiated a study to determine the university’s space needs and other possible locations for Pace to lease or purchase in Lower Manhattan. Whitfield said he is currently selecting a real estate advisory firm to perform this analysis. Since the study will not be completed until early fall, Whitfield said that he did not know what other buildings Pace may consider in the future to lease or purchase.
Pace has already expanded its campus in Lower Manhattan in the past decade. There are new dorms on William and Fulton Streets, and even a new dorm across the East River in Brooklyn Heights. Pace also leases space on William Street for offices, a computer lab, and class space.
There are plenty of other buildings with available space nearby that Pace can lease, Whitfield said. He said that with a decline of office rentals in buildings located in Lower Manhattan, there is an increase in available space in large buildings that can be transformed into classrooms and dorms. Nonetheless, he pointed out that it would have been convenient to have space in the Ratner building since it is adjacent to Pace’s main academic buildings.
Goldstein agreed that there are many other locations where Pace could move in Lower Manhattan, and they are often less expensive than the proposed space in the Ratner building. “There is already dorm space a block or two away [from the main campus]. It wouldn’t be the first time they had a building further away,” he said.

Community Relations

The new Ratner skyscraper will be the second-tallest building in the neighborhood. Concerned that it will block even more air and light from homes, local residents are demanding benefits in conjunction with any new construction.
Goldstein said that when Pace was planning to occupy space in the Ratner building, it was more receptive to the community’s requests for access to the university’s resources. He said that these negotiations ended when the university backed out of the project and Pace’s head of community relations took another job. He added that CB1 plans to bring their demands back to the table as soon as a new community relations person is hired.
“Theoretically, Pace can go back to discussing, but my sense was that they were more eager to talk to the community when building a new building,” added Goldstein.
According to Whitfield, Pace has expanded its community programs over the past few years. For example, the university instituted a community service requirement last year and, as a result, there are several new courses involving volunteer work.
“The goal is to instill an active sense of social responsibility while improving the nearby community,” the university said in a Nov. 12, 2003 press release.
In one class last year, students worked with the pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary parish to create a small museum for the history of Lower Manhattan, and in a math class, students used “data analysis, probability, statistical inference to make decisions about education, health, money, careers, and government,” according to the press release.
Another outreach effort, Pace’s Center for Downtown New York, was founded to “serve the community as an academic, research, and civic leadership partner in the effort to revitalize Lower Manhattan,” according to a different university press release. The Center created the Pace Downtown Index, which will monitor the economic development of Lower Manhattan since Sept. 11.
The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace, a venue for professional and student programming, provides access to arts and dance performances for students and the neighborhood. Part of Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival took place at this Center and the Community Works/Theater Connections and brings 1,000 children to seven different dance and theater shows each year.
Similar to the University of Pennsylvania’s high school, in 2004 Pace gave funding to open a local public high school that receives guidance from its School of Education.

** Correction Appended

Perspectives On Expansion: Last in a Five-Part Series on Campus Planning
Community Relationships are Key For Success in Survey of Five Schools
By Emily Schwarz
Spectator Senior Staff Writer
March 25, 2005
Throughout history, urban universities have played a crucial role in their city’s development, especially when they built new facilities and expanded programs. Today, colleges in cities want to expand to build new science labs, research space, gyms, and additional housing; strengthen certain academic programs or graduate schools; and attract new students and staff.
This series aims to increase the Columbia community’s awareness of development programs at other universities to illustrate the greater context of Columbia’s Manhattanville expansion. President Lee Bollinger put forth the need to expand in his 2002 inaugural address, and attention has focused on a 17-acre site a half-mile north of College Walk. While Columbia has only a preliminary idea of space use, the first phase, between 125th and 133rd Streets will include a new arts school and space for science labs.
While each institution has different academic pursuits and faces different obstacles to development, Columbia and the universities featured in this series—Harvard, Fordham, Pace, and the University of Pennsylvania—can learn from each other.

Discussing University Expansion

This series is not the first attempt to take a comparative look at different universities’ expansion plans. Administrators from these schools have met to share their experiences while some schools offer classes on expansion, and studies have been undertaken on the subject of university development.
The University of Pennsylvania, which has already developed in its surrounding neighborhood, has met with Columbia and Harvard individually, so that the universities could discuss their plans. On November 13, 2004, David Smiley, an architecture professor at Columbia, moderated a meeting between Omar Blaik, senior vice president of facilities and real estate services at Penn, Jeremiah Stoldt, director of campus planning at Columbia, and Michael Morand, associate vice president of New Haven and State Affairs from Yale University. Yale University has recently completed its own development plans.
This meeting was held at the Columbia Business School as part of the 12th Annual Net Impact Conference. Smiley said that Penn’s presentation focused on the university’s efforts to improve its community, while Columbia focused more on its physical plans.
This year, Smiley is teaching an undergraduate senior thesis seminar called “The Built Environment,” in which students study Manhattanville. There are several classes about expansion and Manhattanville currently being taught in different Columbia schools, including civil engineering and the School of Urban Planning. At Harvard, Yves Cabannes, an adjunct professor at Harvard’s Design School, is also teaching a course this semester about community development.
There are several books and ongoing scholarly debates about the role of private universities as developers and the relationship between universities and their surrounding communities. For example, David Maurrasse, an adjunct professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, published a book in 2001 called “Beyond the Campus: How Colleges and Universities Form Partnerships within their Communities.”
Ira Harkevey, the head of the Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, has created a model service learning program where students can work in the community for credit. Harkevey also studies the relationship between the community and universities, particularly when universities begin to expand.
While there is already some discussion, institutions should take the time to pursue comparative studies and make their communities and students aware of the different projects occurring at other schools.

Lessons to Be Learned: University Involvement in the Community

Maintaining positive community relations is quite possibly the greatest obstacle for urban universities, particularly during development. Universities can help smooth community relations by remaining open and honest about their activities. Harvard, for example, was burned when it was revealed that it surreptitiously purchased plots of land in Allston under the name of different real estate agencies. Harvard lost the trust of the Allston community and ended up having to provide more services and make more concessions than it would have had to otherwise.
Universities can also achieve positive community relations by learning to consider themselves as a member of the community and not a separate entity.
Debby Giovanditto, a neighborhood resident, said that the Allston community’s goal “is to keep Harvard contained, rather than to divide the Allston community. The students are transient and will never really be part of the community.”
While it is true that students will never invest as much in their neighborhood home owners, Giovanditto’s statement is a very sad one. The Allston community should not feel that it is separated from Harvard’s campus. Similarly, Columbia should not only plan a campus in Manhattanville that is physically permeable to the community, but it must also work to integrate itself into the community socially. It is very hard for universities not to take on the role of an elite, rich, benevolent giver, but urban universities must nonetheless learn to become part of their neighborhood.
One way to accomplish this goal is to bring benefits to the community that will also benefit the university. One example is Penn’s “Buy West Philadelphia” program, in which the university locally purchases all of its services, such as catering and furniture. This type of economic development is in the university’s interest and also helps preserve local businesses. Encouraging students and faculty to live in the area where a university plans to develop is another good way of integrating the university and the community.
Colleges should also tailor their community service programs to benefit the specific needs of their community. Pace has played an important role in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11. For example, Pace’s Center for Downtown New York was founded to “serve the community as an academic, research and civic leadership partner in the effort to revitalize Lower Manhattan,” according to a university press release from July 6, 2004. This Center created the Pace Downtown Index, which will monitor the economic development of Lower Manhattan since 9/11.
Columbia has also targeted its community programs towards the specific needs of Manhattanville, Harlem, and Washington Heights. According to the Columbia Community Partnerships brochure, the Columbia Center for the Health of Urban Minorities, for example, received a $6 million NIH grant in 2003 to establish a research center to study the health disparities among minorities in northern Manhattan. Columbia law students, through the Center for Public Interest Law work with organizations such as the Legal Aid Society, Harlem Legal Services, Minority Task Force on AIDS, and the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation. Undergraduate students, through Community Impact, provide a number of services, such as teaching English-as-a-Second-Language.
The Penn and Pace University high schools have been very successful. These schools are public schools, but the universities helped to fund their construction and give advice on the curricula. The School at Columbia, on the other hand, is a private school and fifty percent of its students must be from the non-University community. Despite these slots, the fact that Columbia owns the school and built it to cater to faculty with children means that it provides less of a service than the public schools built at other universities.
In order to maintain close community relations, universities must have an ongoing outreach effort and not merely initiate programs at the time at which the university plans to expand.
Paul Goldstein of Community Board 1 said that when Pace decided to back out of the Ratner project, which coincided with the departure of the University’s head of community relations, meant that Pace ended its discussions with residents about possible community benefits.
“Theoretically, Pace can go back to discussing, but my sense was that they were more eager to talk to the community when building a new building,” added Goldstein.
Columbia offers hundreds of services and programs to the community, and the student body has a very high rate of community service participation compared to that of other schools. The University just recently opened a career center in West Harlem, but most of the University’s programs existed before talk of Manhattanville expansion.
Prof. Smiley said, “Columbia is doing a really good job, but they have yet to publicize the sum total of what they do.”
Columbia would be able to gain greater support for its efforts in Manhattanville, especially among students, if it worked to make its community programs more widely known.

Lessons to be Learned: Community’s Role in Expansion

There are several ways that universities and communities can alleviate the inevitable tensions that occur when a university expands.
Sharrieff Ali, the head of the Spruce Hill Neighborhood Alliance in Philadelphia, said that one reason why he thinks Penn has been able to work closely with its neighbors is that the community is well organized. Ali said that it is very important for the university to listen closely to the community’s demands and for the community to “develop a clear plan describing how it would like to see the neighborhood to develop so that it can refer back to this plan when negotiating with the university.”
Debby Giovanditto, a resident of Allston, where Harvard plans to expand, agreed that it is essential for the community to have a clear plan, so that the university knows that it has to “meet the community half way.”
The Manhattanville community is very organized, but disconnected. In November 2004, Community Board 9 finalized its 197-A plan, which outlines the community’s vision for development in Manhattanville. “There are a number of areas in which Columbia’s proposed expansion and Community Board 9’s draft 197-A plan are in agreement,” explained Geoff Wiener, assistant vice president of facilities, planning, and space management at Columbia.
“Of course, there are some differences between the University’s proposal and the draft 197-A Plan. For example, Columbia’s proposed expansion and the draft 197-A plan cover different areas; CB9’s plan encompasses the area from 110th St. to 155th St., not just the rezoning of the relatively small Manhattanville industrial area,” Wiener added.
Since Columbia has not yet officially discussed a concrete benefits package with the community, it is not possible to know how the 197-A plan will serve the community as a basis for its demands.

Lessons to be Learned: Development Plans

It is important to remember that universities are private institutions of higher learning, not city planners. As Ali said with regard to the community of West Philadelphia, those who oppose a university must keep in mind that the university expands for itself, not for the community, and it is not the university’s responsibility to provide services and housing to its neighboring community.
When deciding how to expand, universities must consider the future of their academic programs and how new space should be used. Many campuses currently want to expand their science programs; Columbia, for instance, has plans to include space for science labs in Manhattanville. Fordham and Pace are also focused on building additional dorm space in order to accommodate the growing number of students who want to study at their respective New York City campuses.
“Around the University, our great need for additional space is well-known—Columbia has the smallest amount of space than any of our peers in the Ivy League,” said Jeremiah Stoldt, director of campus planning at Columbia.
Different universities have engaged their faculty to varying degrees. At Penn, President Judith Rodin has decided to welcome the school’s faculty to discuss its development plans. “It’s in the past decade that we have found new ways to apply our intellectual and financial resources toward the transformation of our own backyard,” said Rodin in her March 2004 speech.
Penn has a committee of professors who not only give input as to how the space should be allocated to each department but also comments on the urban planning and design aspects.
Penn also uses its faculty to design its West Philadelphia development. For example, Penn Praxis, a clinical practice headed by Professor Harris Steinberg of Penn’s School of Urban Planning, has been involved in the development of 40th Street. Penn Praxis provides its planning services as a consultant for civic engagement projects around the world. Steinberg explained that the goal of Praxis is to give students a chance to use their planning skills and to create a “neutral ground for discussion” between experts and citizens.
The President of Harvard, Lawrence H. Summers, designated four faculty task forces to assess different topics relating to development. These four task forces include: science and technology, undergraduate life, professional schools, and Allston Life Task Force, which includes housing, culture, and transportation.
Brian Shea, a partner at Cooper Robertson and Partners, the architecture firm designing Harvard’s expansion plan, said that while Harvard’s subcommittees have been helpful in determining what the academic use of the campus will be, the university is “finding some of the reports to be too idealistic and now a lot of them have to cut back. That’s being reviewed by the advisory committee.”
Shea said that it is much easier to plan the design of a university campus when the institution already “knows what specific academic programs will go into the space,” as opposed to schools who assess their needs as they plan. It therefore makes sense for universities not to have different committees planning independently, but rather to create an overarching plan.

Development: The Case of Penn

Penn is in a good position right now. Penn has 24 acres of private, contiguous land to develop, and it has managed to build in its nearby neighborhood while strengthening community relations. While Penn’s president and development staff deserve credit for the university’s successes, Penn is a good example of how a university’s location and relation with the community are the key factors contributing to the success of a development plan.
Unlike New York City, there is more vacant and low-density space in Philadelphia, and therefore Penn is fortunate to have access to an area like the Postal Lands. When asked what Penn would do if they did not have the opportunity to move east, Omar Blaik, senior vice president of facilities and real estate services, responded, “I’m glad I’m not here for that.”
Penn invested a lot of time, creative energy, and money to develop in West Philadelphia. But during the late 1980s and early 1990s, West Philadelphia had a desperate lack of services and a high level of crime. According to Blaik, the outspoken neighbors asked for “safe streets, clean streets, more people from Penn living in the neighborhood, additional services, and better public education.”
Since Manhattanville and North Allston are not experiencing the problems that West Philadelphia faced, they have less to gain from development in their area. In other words, Penn’s development was more openly welcomed by its community because there was a greater need for it.