NYU files plans for new 588K sf building at 181 Mercer Street

The 23-story facility will include sports and performing arts center

Mercer Street entrance to NYU's Coles Sports Center in Greenwich Village
Mercer Street entrance to NYU's Coles Sports Center in Greenwich Village

New York University filed plans Monday for a new, nearly 600,000-square-foot building as part of the proposed expansion of its Greenwich Village campus.

The new 23-story, 588,000-square-foot multi-purpose building at 181 Mercer Street will house the NYU’s athletics center and a performing arts facility, as well as classrooms, dorms and common areas, according to documents filed with the city’s Department of Buildings. It will be divided into a north and south tower and replace the Coles Sports Center at 404 Lafayette Street formerly located on the site.

Plans call for a 556-seat proscenium theater with an orchestral pit, balcony and mezzanine seatings, as well as multiple studios practice rooms, study rooms, and a cafe. The sports center, which will be the home the NYU Violets, will include an Olympic-sized pool, an indoor track, a varsity performance space and multiple exercise rooms.

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The new facility will be the first of several buildings along Bleecker and Mercer streets included in plans for the campus expansion. The project was delayed for several years during a battle with local residents, over whether the land on which the proposed development was to be built, which is owned by the Department of Transportation, was designated parkland. The New York State Court of Appeals decided in NYU’s favor in 2015, and the university agreed to construct one building at a time, so as not to overwhelm the neighborhood with construction.

The architects for the building are Davis Brody Bond and Kieran Timberlake, according to NYU’s website.

Demolition of the Coles Sports Center began in August. The new facility is expected to be completed in 2021.