The public review process known as ULURP, through which most every large-scale development in the city must pass, is rarely an easy one. New York created the NIMBY, and ULURP is about the only way Joe Public can even pretend to influence such projects as Columbia or NYU’s new campuses, the Hudson Yards redevelopment, Riverside South, the Kingsbridge Armory, Chelsea Market… the list of contentious projects goes on and on. A better acronym for the Uniform Land-use Review Process might well be DIVISIVE.
That is what makes CornellNYC, the upstate university’s Roosevelt Island tech campus, such an interesting anomaly. After beating out Stanford in a breathless deathmatch for Mayor Bloomberg’s blessing to build the campus, the project has so far sailed through ULURP with nary a protest. Back in December, the campus was approved by the local community board (typically a bastion of browbeating), and now Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer gave the new campus his enthusiastic thumbs up.