Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'll take Manhattanville

I'll take Manhattanville

There are some points that need to be clarified in Christine Lagorio's "Close-Up on Manhattanville" [villagevoice.com, June 1].

The Manhattanville area doesn't end at the Columbia University campus expansion target area. It covers from 120th to 135th streets, from St. Nicholas Avenue to the Hudson River. Lagorio writes: "Columbia has planned for three decades to build a glass-encrusted campus between 125th and 133rd west of Broadway�an area the university says currently only includes 140 legal apartments, one-third of which are unoccupied." Columbia has not been planning for 30 years; its future plans are for three 10-year development stages. Also, the residential buildings of which she writes are all fully occupied except for those undergoing rehabilitation or those that have been rehabilitated and are waiting for a certificate of occupancy. Some are destined to be Housing Development Fund cooperatives for low-income families; the others are intended for not-for-profit rentals. The only buildings that are vacant and dilapidated are the property of Columbia.

the Village Voice

Lagorio fails to point out that the increase in robberies within the 26th Precinct is mostly generated within the Columbia University population as students leave their laptops and cellulars lying about and they are stolen. The slight increase in the 26th and 30th precincts' crime stats have many explanations, all of them satisfactory, as overall the numbers are the lowest since the 1960s, making this one of the safest places to live in New York City.

Finally, I find irritating the tone of dismissal used when referring to our Manhattanville residents and the obvious delight at Columbia's plans as if they were the greatest thing since dry socks.

Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, Chair
Manhattan Community Board 9

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