In 2006, Columbia University requested that the New York City Zoning Commission rezone 35 acres of land in the West Harlem/Manhattanville area of New York City.  This request was the first step in Columbia University’s endeavor to begin work on constructing a new 17-acre campus, just North of the main Morningside Heights campus.  This new campus would become home for a new business school, arts school, lab facilities, and potentially new swimming facilities and dormitories.  Over the course of the early 2000’s, Columbia University had purchased approximately 90% of the 17-acre property, which covered the majority of the blocks from 125th Street to 133rd Street between Broadway and 12th Avenue.  However, there were two holdout properties that refused to cave to the pressure being applied by the University.  The final piece of the puzzle came together for Columbia University in late 2008, when the State of New York’s Empire State Development Corporation approved the use of eminent domain, effectively eliminating any final legal recourse of the two hold-out properties and paving the way for Columbia University to begin their expansion plan.

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