The New York City Council today voted to approve Fordham University’s plan to develop its Lincoln Center campus. The vote, upon review by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, clears the way for Fordham to add six new buildings and 1.5 million square feet of academic and dormitory space within the current boundaries of the Lincoln Center campus. The Council’s Land Use Committee approved the plan on June 10.
“This vote is a testament to the leadership of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilwoman Gale Brewer,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “Both lawmakers ably balanced the needs of the community, the needs of the University and the needs of the City of New York. The result, therefore, will be a dynamic 21st century campus that is of the community and in the service of Jesuit higher education.”
Father McShane also thanked Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, whose compromise plan was crucial to the process, and City Planning Commission Chairperson Amanda Burden, who, with her fellow commissioners and staff, fine tuned Fordham’s plan.
“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,” Father McShane said. “New Yorkers can be proud of their leaders and confident that city government will serve the greater good.”
The economic impact of the plan includes an estimated 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.
The first phase of the plan includes construction of 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.
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, which will be in continuous use throughout the Lincoln Center campus development process).