Meet Nick Sprayregen — that’s him over there on the right, alongside anti-Columbia propaganda. For three years, he’s upheld a solemn vow to rally against the University’s expected use of eminent domain by holding onto his Manhattanville storage company, Tuck-It-Away Storage. He’s also the subject of an Observer profile from earlier this week (and one from the Times earlier this year), which chronicles his Sisyphean battle against Columbia.
Specifically, Sprayregen’s opposed to the University’s imminent use of eminent domain, and in the past has tried to make a deal with Columbia in hopes of convincing them to drop it from their game plan. But Bollinger and his Legal All Stars wooed Harlem politicians with promises of low-income housing and an increase of jobs, so Columbia’s plan was approved by the state, Manhattanville was deemed “blighted”, and Sprayregen’s hopes of warding off eminent domain looked bleak.
But the Observer notes that he’s planning on challenging the “blighted” ruling, claiming that Columbia bought Manhattanville buildings and purposely neglected them.
Sprayregen’s already spent a million dollars on legal fees and expects to spend another million to take this thing to the Supreme Court. He explains: “Obviously, we now have a real legal fight on our hands.”