Volume 77 / Number 36 - Feb. 06 - 12, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photo by Shoshanna Bettencourt

This 21-story E. 23rd St. building will be a new N.Y.U. dorm.

Erin go braugh, till N.Y.U. takeover for a dorm

By Lincoln Anderson

In an interview with The Villager last week, New York University community affairs officials hinted N.Y.U. is near to signing a deal for a new dormitory — then abruptly withheld further details.

“We’re close to…” said Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. associate vice president for government and community affairs, before her voiced trailed off.

“We’re working on it…” said John Beckman, the university’s spokesperson, similarly not completing the sentence.

When pressed for specifics on the dorm’s location or size — whether it’s in the university’s so-called Washington Square campus core or the surrounding neighborhood, for example — they declined further comment.

This new mystery dorm, along with N.Y.U.’s E. 12th St. residence currently under construction, would offset N.Y.U.’s loss of its Cliff St. and Water St. leased residences.

Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said N.Y.U. officials leaked some information about the dorm to him.

“They told me they are close to closing a deal on the new building at 23rd St. and Third Ave., which they told me would more or less make up for the beds they are losing in the Financial District,” Berman said. “I am glad they chose this route, rather than what they did at the St. Ann’s/12th St. site, which was to try to shoehorn another megadorm into the neighborhood.” The Gramercy location, on an avenue, is more of a high-rise district than the Village.

The building, at 316 Third Ave./149 E. 23rd St., is 21 stories, reportedly with around 300 apartments and is being developed by J. D. Carlisle Development Corporation.

Vague previous reports said the E. 23rd St. building would cater in some manner to tenants from Ireland.

But last week a source said the building is now 100 percent an N.Y.U. dorm. According to the source, it previously had been one-third condos and two-thirds N.Y.U. dorm, but now the floors in the building’s top third are being converted from condo layouts to dorm room layouts.

On the ground floor, there will be a Rite-Aid on E. 23rd St. and an HSBC bank branch on Third Ave. It’s not known if N.Y.U. will lease the dorm or buy it.

On N.Y.U. owning its student housing versus leasing it, Beckman said owning is better financially for the school, since leasing is “more expensive” and “doesn’t build equity.”

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