Stringer Brokers Fordham Expansion Deal

February 26, 2009 Updated: February 26, 2009

NEW YORK—Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is receiving high marks for a deal he successfully brokered with Fordham University that reduces the scope of Fordham’s planned Upper West side expansion.

The deal will require Fordham to build shorter buildings on Columbus Avenue, widen public walkways, improve public access to campus open spaces, and reduce traffic congestion by cutting back parking spaces by 50 percent.

“We are delighted with borough president Scott Stringer’s support in crafting this suggested compromise. We believe that the resulting plan is a good one that serves both our neighbors and the university,” said Fordham University President Joseph M. McShane.

Congressional Representative Jerrold Nadler congratulated Stringer on the deal, but he also cautioned that more concessions were necessary before Fordham receives final approval for its expansion plan.

“I am also pleased that this agreement means that Fordham will be making new, substantial contributions to the community, from security cameras at Amsterdam houses to working with local schools. I do, however, hope and expect that additional modifications will be made to the plan regarding Amsterdam Avenue, and to address other community concerns, before the City Planning Commission and City Council grant final approval,” said Nadler.

The deal also requires Fordham to expand its academically-oriented after school programs in the local public schools. Such concessions are part of Stringer’s plan to make sure the University truly benefits the surrounding community.

He said, “Our great universities are part of what makes Manhattan special, and we need to support them in their efforts to meet the demands of the 21st century. But at the same time we must do everything we can to involve the local community and improve the quality of our neighborhoods.”

And the community will be involved—all of the proposed buildings that have not already been designed are subject to community input under the new deal.

Pollution generated by the massive construction project is another concern for the people living in the area, but the agreement goes a ways towards assuaging those fears. It requires that the “highest standards of pollution and noise control measure” be used during construction.

Fordham currently has three buildings on its Manhattan campus between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues and 60th and 62nd Streets near Lincoln Center. The expansion plan envisions a total of 10 buildings on the campus, including libraries, classroom space and dormitories, along with market-rate housing.