Big in Brooklyn
It Takes a Village
The tweet was maybe two minutes old, but David Greenfield was already walking over to the table of reporters in the City Council chamber to confront the one who had erroneously broadcast he wasn’t wearing a tie.
“You don’t see this?” asked Mr. Greenfield, the City Council’s powerful new land use committee chair. He was clenching the knot of the cream-colored tie beneath his sweater, grinning. “Correct the tweet now.” He wanted the political junkies on his Twitter feed, which he constantly monitors, Cory Booker-like, to know he was properly attired for his coronation.
New York University is working fervently to win support for its major campus expansion in Greenwich Village. The school has lined up the support of the mayor, the real estate industry, construction unions, local businesses, even most of the city’s editorial boards, including a powerful vote of confidence from The Times. Still, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has expressed skepticism toward the project, which he would like to see reduced in size, and the community panned the rezoning outright.
To help makes its case, NYU recently retained Ed Wallace and Melinda Katz, two land-use attorneys who have helped shape a number of important development projects as they wended their way through public review—not least because both of them also once spent time as members of the City Council, the body that will have the ultimate say on NYU’s rezoning.
The way Doris Diether tells it, she was the last holdout in her Waverly Place building a few years back, when the landlord moved in someone new to intimidate her.
“Every time he’d go by me, he growled. Then one night he banged on my door and said, ‘If you think you’re getting any Read More