NYU Gobbles Greenwich Village

It's hard to wander through Greenwich Village without feeling New York University's presence. Towering over the South Side of Washington Square Park, for instance, is Furman Law School, an enormous building on the site of what was, until 2000, Edgar Allen Poe's modest home; they quashed it to erect their new creation, preserving only the facade. They own most of the townhouse real estate on the north side of the park, too, and have systematically been buying up land and buildings throughout the neighborhood for years.

But piecemeal projects are nothing compared to NYU's grand expansion plans. Although the official language of NYU2031 states that the goal is to "maximize existing assets already owned," WNYC reports that their 20-year vision includes "a new tower at Bleecker Street next to the Silver Towers as well as buildings on Governors Island and in Brooklyn." In all, they'll be adding six million square feet to the campus, mostly to complete the transformation from commuter to residential college. But surely some of it stems from a long competitiveness with Columbia, which has similar plans -- no matter how contested -- to widen its stamp on Upper Manhattan's Morningside Heights.

The official announcement of the 2031 plan comes April 8, but you can already preview their proposal, which will be subject to a public review process. For Greenwich Village real estate owners, the expansion would mark the final ejection of any remnants from the Village's beatnik days, and continue the transformation of the neighborhood into half-dormitory, half-tourist trap. These days, the far West Village seems like a more desirable residence for folks over 21. The median sales price for that neighborhood, per Trulia, is $1.9 million. In Greenwich Village, it's $1.25 million. Guess that's good news for NYU's real estate acquisition team.

For more on New York City real estate, go to AOL Real Estate.

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