While most of the development activity in Manhattan is occurring either in Midtown or Downtown, Fordham’s ambitious expansion plan is also moving forward. Currently, Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus only has two buildings. The expansion will increase the size of Fordham’s campus dramatically, by approximately 1.5 million square feet. While the plan features eight new buildings, two of those will be apartment buildings rather than university space, and will be used by Fordham to help pay for the development.
|Law School/Dormitory currently under construction: Image from curbed|
The first addition to the campus, which will contain the law school as well as new dormitory space, has already broken ground. The building will rise 22 stories and contain 468,000 square feet of space, allowing Fordham students much more breathing room–the current campus, with 8,000 students, was only designed to hold 3,500.
Besides the new law school, construction also appears to be imminent on the parcel on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 62nd Street. Fordham sold land to developer Glenwood Management to help pay for the expansion, and Glenwood is planning to build a 54-story luxury rental building with 339 units. While no renderings of the building have been released yet, the building should rise to approximately six hundred feet. For more information on Glenwood’s building, you can read this article at Curbed.
While two new buildings on Fordham’s block is impressive in itself (Fordham’s campus is bounded by Columbus, Amsterdam, 60th, and 62nd Streets), the first phase of development calls for the construction of another apartment building on the corner of 60th and Amsterdam. The simultaneous development of so many new buildings is sure to be noisy and disruptive, although the eventual result will be beneficial to the neighborhood.
|Phase 1 Build-Out: Image from Fordham’s development application, posted by NYGuy at skyscraperpage.com|
The area surrounding and containing Lincoln Center was completely destroyed by Robert Moses, and he created several mega-blocks, where entire streets were removed. While only two blocks were merged for Fordham’s campus, the construction of Lincoln Center, the Amsterdam Housing Projects, and the West Side Towers thoroughly destroyed the area’s street grid.
Fordham’s expansion will breath much-needed life into the neighborhood. The new buildings will directly interact with the streets they are located on, enhancing the pedestrian experience. New residents will also bring life to the area, as the stretch of Amsterdam in the West 60s is particularly barren because of Lincoln Center’s wall against the street as well as the Amsterdam housing projects.
|Fordham’s Expansion at full build-out, tentative render: Image from curbed|
After the initial phase of development, Fordham’s plan will bring several new buildings along Columbus Avenue as well. These buildings will be solely for University use, and will increase the University’s space very dramatically. Fordham’s students already bring vibrancy to the area, and increasing the size of the University will benefit local businesses as well as the neighborhood’s vibrancy, as Fordham’s submitted plans show that the University’s population will increase by almost four thousand once the expansion is completed.
Ruined by Robert Moses, the lower Upper West Side–also known as Lincoln Square–stands to gain back a tremendous amount of vitality with Fordham’s Expansion. While Fordham’s plans are a good first step, the continued existence of the Amsterdam Housing Projects will continue to detract from the area, and additional development is necessary to make Lincoln Square a truly great neighborhood.
For all the details regarding Fordham’s expansion, you can read the actual development application here.