So yesterday the Empire State Development Corp. voted to approve Columbia’s $6.28 billion expansion expansion into Manhattanville. 

In doing so, the state designated the area as blighted, which is necessary in order to invoke eminent domain

The decision came as a result of a blight study by AKRF Inc., which found that Manhattanville consisted of “aging, poorly maintained and functionally obsolete industrial buildings with little indication of recent reinvestment to revive their generally deteriorated condition.” 

Critics of the decision have pointed out that New York hired the same firm to conduct this assessment as Columbia hired to conduct a separate environmental analysis of the area.

Governor David Paterson, CC ’77, gave the expansion two Light Blue thumbs up, saying: “This project underscores Columbia’s commitment to its neighbors by providing benefits to many segments of the local community. […] Columbia, my alma matter, continues to be a vital part of this city and State.”