Saturday, January 31, 2015

Columbia Students Oppose Columbia University's West Harlem-Manhattanville Construction Project--Part 7

In October 2014, the Columbia Student Coalition Against Gentrification (CAGe) released a report, titled Understanding Columbia University's Expansion into West Harlem: An Activist's Guide, which indicated why many Columbia students, Barnard students and neighborhood residents in Morningside Heights, West Harlem and Manhattanville are apparently still opposed to the Columbia University Administration's Kravis Business School construction/campus expansion project in West Harlem/Manhattanville. As the report notes:
"(January 21, 2009) In a last effort to turn the tide, the two remaining business on Columbia's future expansion site - a Tuck-it-away storage facility owned by Nick Spreyregen, and a gas station owned by Gurnam and Parminder Singh - file individual law suits challenging the designation of blight, and the invocation of eminent domain. The Supreme Court rules in their favor. Justice Chatterson remarks that `the blight designation in the instant case is mere sophistry. It was utilized by ESDC years after the scheme was hatched to justify the employment of eminent domain but this project has always primarily concerned a massive capital project for Columbia.'. The ESDC challenges the ruling at the level of the New York State Court of Appeals....There Judge Carmen Ciparick decides in favor of Columbia....Columbia overcomes the last juridical hurdle in their pursuit of eminent domain....  
"(June 2010) Gentrification throughout greater Harlem reaches unprecedented levels. During this summer, Harlem loses its African American majority.... 
"(December 2010) [Columbia University] President Bollinger assumes the position of Chairman of the Board at New York State's Federal Reserve Bank, where he will remain until December of 2012.  
"(January 2011) The demolition of the expansion site begins...."