Manhattan College has expansion plans

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Manhattan College is planning to expand its campus within the next decade. The plans could include buying two lots on West 240th Street between Irwin and Tibbett Avenues, just across the street from Gaelic Park.

College officials have not finalized a master plan, or made the draft public, but an April article in the college’s newspaper The Quadrangle explained that officials want to expand their science-focused south campus and further integrate it with the main campus. That would require the college to purchase the lots on West 240th Street, which include Karl’s Auto Body and the now-closed Riverdale Auto Body.

The article also quoted Andy Ryan, the college’s vice president of facilities, as saying he was “reasonably confident” the school could acquire the land.

The owner of Karl’s Auto Body said on Oct. 8 that officials from Manhattan College had approached him about two weeks ago to gauge his interest in selling. He declined to state more, explaining he did not want to share information prematurely.

Riverdale Auto Body closed at the end of May. In a note on the chain-link fence around the lot, former manager Pat Cumiskey thanked customers for 40 years of business. In a phone interview, he said he decided to retire on his own volition — he is 73 years old and thought it was time. He referred all questions about the property to his former landlord, John Gallagher.

According to the city’s Department of Finance, the Gallagher family still owns the land. John Gallagher could not be reached for comment.

Manhattan College spokesman Pete McHugh stressed that the college has not finalized any renovation or expansion plans, which would require approval from Community Board 8.

“The College is exploring options to renovate its current infrastructure or acquire available property around our campus. We are in the very early stages of this long-term process and will continue to communicate with our neighbors in the local community and our campus community as the process moves forward,” he said in a statement.

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