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NEW YORK CITY-Following its approval by two key City Council committees in early June, Fordham University’s plan to expand its campus near Lincoln Center by 1.5 million square feet passed the full Council on Tuesday. The plan as approved on Tuesday reflects both modifications, which the university agreed to in February and further changes hammered out with council member Gale Brewer in June. The bill goes to Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his signature.

Under the June 10 agreement with Brewer, Fordham will provide an open, contiguous 3,500-square-foot atrium space along the Columbus Avenue side of the campus, accessible to the public and capable of supporting commercial businesses; install an escalator at the main Columbus Avenue entrance; work with the community to ensure that businesses selected for the atrium are locally owned “mom and pops”; and ensure that all construction will meet LEED standards. Fordham has also agreed to lower the height of its tallest new residential building on Amsterdam Avenue to 598 feet, with the five other new buildings to be considerably lower.

“We are pleased, naturally, that the City Council recognizes the importance of Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus to the local community and to the city,” says university president Joseph McShane in a statement. “New Yorkers can be proud of their leaders and confident that city government will serve the greater good.”

The first phase of construction will add a new Law School, including a dormitory on its upper floors. The remainder of the initial phase includes a new student center, dormitory and interim public park/plaza on Columbus Avenue, according to the university.

The plan’s final phase will include a Graduate School of Business Administration with dormitory space; buildings for the Graduate Schools of Social Services and Education, with dormitory space; a new above-ground space for the Quinn Library; and a Theatre for the Dramatic Arts. A final addition will be made to the Graduate Schools of Education and Social Work following demolition of the current Law School building. The expansion program is projected to be completed in 2032.

Also on Tuesday, the City Council gave the go-ahead to a 30-block rezoning of the lower Grand Concourse in the South Bronx. It’s intended to bring as much as 841,000 square feet of new commercial uses to the primarily industrial neighborhood and facilitate the development of 3,100 new housing units, 520 of which will be affordable.

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