New York University’s proposed building project includes a freshmen residence and a gymnasium. New York University

New York University has scored a court victory that could allow it to move forward with its plans to build about 2 million square feet of new facilities in Greenwich Village.

A lower court had ruled that several plots of land that NYU planned to use during construction were parkland and that state legislators would need to sign off on using them for other purposes. On Tuesday, the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court reversed that decision.

The ruling represents a “complete victory” for NYU that means there are no legal impediments to the school moving forward with the project, said Celia Barenholtz, an attorney for the university.

The city was a defendant in the lawsuit along with NYU. A Law Department spokesman said, “We are pleased that the court confirmed that the Parks Department can temporarily manage or beautify underutilized parcels of public land, which greatly benefits city residents, without surrendering the city’s ability to use that land for other purposes when warranted.”

The plaintiffs, led by state Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Democrat, said they planned to appeal the decision to the state’s Court of Appeals.

The university’s proposed expansion has pitted NYU against some of its neighbors and even some of its own faculty members.

A group of faculty members opposed to the plan, known as NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, expressed dismay with Tuesday’s decision.

“We are disappointed that the Appellate Division overturned the decision that would keep our precious Village parks—Mercer Playground, La Guardia Park, and La Guardia Corner Gardens—protected from NYU’s unnecessary and ruinous expansion plan,” the group said in a news release.

The appellate division ruled that the three city-owned plots of land at the center of the dispute couldn’t be considered parkland because the city didn’t have a clear intent to create public parks there. The court noted, among other considerations, that the parcels had been mapped as streets since they were acquired by the city and some had been used for other purposes than parkland.

“While the city has allowed for the long-term continuous use of parts of the parcels for parklike purposes, such use was not exclusive, as some of the parcels (like La Guardia Park) have also been used as pedestrian thoroughfares,” the court said.

NYU received approval for its expansion plan near Washington Square Park in 2012 from both the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

The plan calls for four high rises on two university-owned blocks bounded by West Third and Houston streets and by La Guardia Place and Mercer Street. It includes a new 280,000-square-foot facility for the Tisch School of the Arts, a freshmen residence hall and a gymnasium.

The school said it needed to construct new facilities to remain competitive with other top-tier universities that have much larger campuses.

“The need for additional academic space is clear…and it is now also clear that the university has the legal right to proceed with this project,” said NYU spokesman John Beckman.

If the plaintiffs had succeeded, it was unclear whether they would have halted NYU’s plans entirely or if the school could have altered its construction plan to comply with the lower court’s ruling.

David Gruber, chairman of the local community board, said he had expected another appeal no matter which side prevailed at the appellate division.

“So it’s not over and there still is further legal process that we have to go through before it’s over,” he said.

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