By Brendan Krisel, Patch Staff

The building is located blocks away from Columbia's Harlem expansion campus on West 125th Street and Broadway.


HARLEM, NY — Columbia University will acquire a full-block property in Harlem that's located minutes from its expansion campus in a deal valued at $33.6 million, according to reports and city records.


The Ivy League school is buying 3,300 Broadway — located between West 133rd and 134th streets — from the family of the late self-storage business owner Nick Sprayregen, Commercial Observer first reported. The deal was recorded with the city earlier this month.


Columbia has acquired buildings in the neighborhood from the Sprayegen family before, but under different circumstances. In the 2000s, Columbia attempted to use eminent domain to take over a Sprayegen building on Broadway, but the self-storage businessman fought and a six-year legal battle ensued, the New York Times reported in 2009. Columbia eventually acquired the property from the state in 2010 after winning an appeal.


Plans for the 3,300 Broadway are not entirely clear at the moment as Columbia has stayed quiet about the deal, but are likely connected to the university's ongoing expansion into West Harlem. Columbia completed one of the expansion's main buildings and the first phase of its expansion, The Forum, in late 2018.


The Forum, located on Broadway and West 125th Street, will be used for academic conferences, meetings and public discussions, Columbia University officials announced. It is the third building to open at the ivy league institution's Manhattanville 17-acre campus, joining the Jerome L. Greene Science Center and the Lenfest Center for the Arts. The expansion initiative was launched in 2003 and is Columbia University's largest capital project since the 19th century construction of its campus in Morningside Heights.

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