NEW YORK CITY-In keeping with its “NYU 2031” expansion plan, NewYork University said Thursday it’s applying for LandmarksPreservation Commission approval of a fourth tower within thelandmarked University Village site, also known as Silver Towers.NYU had originally proposed building on a university-owned sitewest of the landmarked area, currently occupied by a MortonWilliams supermarket, but now says that putting up the tower withinthe I.M. Pei-designed University Village cluster would bepreferable. The three existing towers contain a mix of housing foruniversity faculty and co-op apartments.

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“By shifting the proposed tower eastward” into the landmarkedarea, “it is possible to better integrate a new building with theexisting I.M. Pei design, add to the ‘dynamic’ pinwheel arrangementof the buildings, preserve clear view corridors, frame the ‘Bust ofSylvette’ sculpture and anchor the fourth corner of the site withgreen space,” according to the university’s overview of the LPCfiling. NYU SVP Lynne Brown says in a release, “In the months sincewe released the NYU 2031 Strategy and unveiled the design, we havecontinued to refine our thinking, and are now ready to officiallybegin review of the project by public agencies.”

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The university won’t begin the city’s Uniform Land Use ReviewProcedure until 2011, but Brown says the LPC’s findings “willclarify whether we proceed with our preferred scenario or thealternative” of building on the Morton Williams site. “This is anextra step in the approvals process, but one that is worthtaking.”

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Consideration by the landmarks commission will mark the firststop on the approvals road due to the Pei site’s landmarked status.Manhattan’s Community Board 2, which plays an advisory role, willalso weigh in before the commission conducts at least one hearingand takes a vote.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.