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Published on Aug 23, 2007
Columbia University, the third largest landlord in New York City, is poised to grab 17 acres of prime real estate in Harlem to expand their campus. University President Lee Bollinger has taken a "its all or nothing" negotiating stance with the community meaning the seizure of private property through eminent domain and the displacement of 131 families in the expansion footprint, not to mention the adverse impact of secondary displacement that even the university had conceded to. As part of the public review process Community Board 9 in West Harlem held a hearing for residents to voice support for or against the expansion. The meeting drew an estimated crowd of 500 (100 remained outside due to limited capacity).