Rezoning underway in West Harlem

December 02, 2010 12:08PM

A new rezoning plan organized by the Department of City Planning and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is taking shape in West Harlem, where an expansion in Manhattanville by Columbia University is underway. “We had to create a balance between helping a university that will have such a positive impact for New York City, in terms of jobs and economic opportunities,” Stringer told the Observer. “At the same time, we have to make sure we return the favor to West Harlem and protect the people who have always been there.” When Columbia got Manhattanville rezoned in 2008, the community hoped more of the neighborhood would be included than just the 17 acres Columbia was eyeing. At the time, the city said it would consider doing so in a later rezoning, which has been quietly in the works ever since. Initially proposed to cover 125th to 145th streets, the current plans call for extending the zoning protections an extra 10 blocks north, to 155th Street. The area is bounded by Riverside Drive on the west and St. Nicholas Avenue on the east. The rezoning encompasses nearly 100 blocks, making it the largest one proposed in northern Manhattan. [NYO]