On Aug. 18, the Supreme Court of the State of New York dismissed the Article 78 suit filed by the Alfred Condominium to halt development of Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.
The development plan, approved by the New York City Council in June 2009, allows Fordham to add six buildings and 1.5 million square feet of academic and dormitory space within the current boundaries of the Lincoln Center campus.
“The plan could not move forward until we cleared this hurdle,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “While further litigation is always a possibility, this legal judgment is a very important one for the University. The Lincoln Center campus must grow to accommodate the needs of our students and faculty, and the needs of the city we call our campus.”
The suit was brought by the board of directors of the Alfred Condominium, which The New York Times calls “a 38-story luxury tower” on West 61st Street. In dismissing the suit, Judge Judith J. Gische wrote, “[The Alfred] has failed to show that the city respondents’ actions, decisions and determinations which were voted on and approved by the City Council on June 30, 2009 were made in violation of lawful procedure. The approval had a rational basis.”
The economic impact of Fordham’s Lincoln Center development plan—modified extensively in negotiations with local community members and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer—includes millions of dollars a year in tax revenue for the city generated from the residential buildings to be built by private developers. Additionally, the plan will mean $1.6 billion in construction over the life of the project, and 4,500 to 5,000 construction jobs over its term, with about 520 permanent and 200 contract jobs.