Harlem owner fights CU plan

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Nicholas Sprayregen, who owns the Tuck-It-Away self-storage empire and five properties within Columbia University’s proposed expansion footprint, has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the school’s plans to create a West Harlem campus. Sprayregen has already spent $500,000 as part of a campaign to combat the university’s proposed use of eminent domain. “Why is it that my property has to be condemned for another private entity?” says Sprayregen. “Maybe if Columbia wants to come enter into a private 99-year lease and I’ll build them a research laboratory. There’s no reason why they have to own this in order to do this research.” The campaign is at least somewhat rooted in personal interest: If Columbia does not seize Sprayregen’s properties, they are set to increase tremendously in value. more [Sun]