Curious about NYU’s possible involvement in the purchase of 35 Cooper Square, where Asian Pub, now closed, stood for years, NYU Local contacted University Spokesman John Beckman yesterday. He told us:
“No, we’re not buying the Cooper Square property.”
It’s interesting—before our  planning effort, and the strategy for developing the superblocks, this is the kind of opportunity we might have pursued. And if we are ultimately unsuccessful with the plan for the superblocks we are bringing through the City approvals process, this is the kind of nearby property—even though controversial—that we’d be led to consider as an option.
The University has become increasingly threatening to—or perhaps, honest with—its critics trying to slow or stop its 2031 plans; this makes clear just how high the stakes are for NYU. The University’s proposal to build a 400-foot tower in University Village also contained a more subtle threat—that if the Landmarks Preservation Commission blocked it from building the tower, it would instead build on the Morton Williams site purchased years ago, an unpopular option.
Ultimately the gambit failed. NYU withdrew its application after the architect of buildings near NYU’s proposed tower called it “profoundly destructive” of his already-landmarked work. The University will now apply to build on the supermarket site.
For more information on the future use of 35 Cooper Square, see NYU Alum Roland Li’s article here.