New York University

Strategic Planning Initiative: NYU Plans 2031

U3A was engaged by NYU’s Department of Strategic Assessment, Planning and Design in 2006 to work with the University on its first major planning agenda. As part of an initial “planning to plan” phase, U3A helped NYU to benchmark itself against peer urban institutions and to develop a clear understanding of its historic growth patterns through real estate database analysis and mapping. U3A’s work helped NYU establish a planning framework and define its future growth needs. U3A then assisted NYU in the competitive selection of an architectural and urban design team to develop a strategic vision for that growth. We worked closely with NYU to manage the work of the design team and to implement a series of community open houses to communicate the University’s plan for growth through 2031, its bicentennial. U3A also assisted NYU in securing necessary governmental land use approvals, which was successfully achieved in summer, 2012.

NYU Abu Dhabi

U3A was engaged by NYU in 2007 to assist the University to plan a new, full-scale liberal arts college in the United Arab Emirates, undertaken as a joint venture with the government of Abu Dhabi. Serving as staff extension to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Regional Campus Development, we helped NYU and its UAE partner to select and manage the planning team, including an academic planner and architectural/urban design team.

U3A also helped manage a series of faculty workshops that resulted in a high-level space program that reflected NYU’s vision for curriculum, pedagogy, student life, and how NYU Abu Dhabi would be connected to NYU’s Washington Square campus and numerous study abroad sites. U3A’s work culminated with NYU’s selection of Rafael Vinoly Architects as master planner in summer 2008. We were hired back to help NYU prepare a “project brief” for the new campus. U3A researched building code standards in the Gulf region and worked with NYU staff to formulate NYU’s requirements in the areas of construction, life safety, security, and environmental sustainability. The campus opened in 2013.

Washington Square Campus Development Site Study

In 2008, U3A completed a study for NYU’s Department of Strategic Assessment, Planning and Design to identify potential opportunities for new development in Lower Manhattan. Using GIS-based mapping, U3A defined a universe of appropriately zoned, underdeveloped sites and assemblages within a designated radius of NYU, together with potentially distressed properties. U3A and its architectural sub-consultant analyzed the development potential of these sites, identified potential issues, and summarized a variety of real estate data in database and fact sheet form. U3A was reengaged in fall 2009 to update this study for potential building acquisitions.

Real Estate Initiatives

U3A assisted NYU’s Office of Real Estate to explore affordable home ownership opportunities for tenure-track faculty. This initiative included identification of suitable neighborhoods in which NYU would consider purchasing blocks of units to resell to faculty and the negotiation of preferred terms for University affiliates.  We also completed a break-even analysis of NYU’s leased dormitories, quantifying the value at which NYU should purchase or develop new, owned student beds.