What is currently 125th Street in the 1930's, photo courtesy of Harlem Bespoke. More Manhattanville photos here.

This is kinda-sorta-maybe-it!

As you may recall, December brought a major obstacle to Columbia’s dreams of expansion: the New York State Supreme Court decided 3-2 that that state could not use eminent domain to secure parts of West Harlem for Manhattanville. The Empire State Development Corporation, the only major defendant in December’s case, has appealed the decision with the Columbia administration’s support. Today is the first official day of that appeal: New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has opened the Manhattanville case in Albany, and will determine whether Columbia and the ESDC can use eminent domain for the 17-acre West Harlem expansion.

In November, the New York Court of Appeals gave the uber-fraught Atlantic Yards a 6-1 approval of use of eminent domain, but the Atlantic Yards project did not stumble in the NY Supreme Court like Manhattanville has.

A decision is expected this summer, which could mean this month and could also mean three months from now. We’ll keep you posted on the news up in Albany. In the meantime, check up on your Manhattanville history: December’s ruling, a slew of talk about eminent domain, the NY Court of Appeals’ approval of eminent domain for Atlantic Yards, and a comprehensive look back at Manhattanville history, what the whole project is about, what it means to you, PrezBo and your West Harlem neighbors.