Here are details on Columbia’s 34-story university housing tower

The school bought the lot from McDonald’s in 2004 for almost $3M

600 West 125th Street (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)
600 West 125th Street (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

UPDATE, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, 2:17 p.m.: Columbia University plans to bring a 34-story residential tower to West Harlem amid its massive campus expansion.

The project at 600 West 125th Street will span just over 175,000 square feet and have 142 units for students and faculty, according to an application with the city Department of Buildings. It will replace a decades-old McDonald’s that closed a few months ago.

The university acquired the deed from the fast-food giant in 2004 for about $2.7 million, property records show.

Construction on the tower is expected to start in early 2020 and wrap up by Summer 2022, a university spokesperson said. The project should reduce demand on the local housing market, the spokesperson added. Columbia said it will steer 35 percent of contracting to local-, women- and minority-owned firms.

Columbia also inked a deal with McDonald’s, which will return as a ground-floor tenant at the new building and occupy 5,000 square feet, the spokesperson said.

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Though it will stand across from several of the university’s recent construction projects, the new tower is not part of Columbia’s massive Manhattanville campus expansion, the spokesperson said. That 6.8 million-square-foot construction project is spread across 17 acres.

As with some of the other Columbia developments, not everyone is looking forward to the latest project. In September, Gothamist reported that some neighborhood residents and university students expressed concern about gentrification and the loss of the fast-food restaurant, which had stood at the corner of West 125th Street and Broadway for 40 years.

Update: This article was updated to include new information about McDonald’s returning to the site as a tenant in the new building.