GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- NYU celebrated its newest facility and the man who made it possible Wednesday at a dedication ceremony in Greenwich Village.
A $100 million gift from NYU alumnus John Paulson, the super investor who made $15 billion betting against subprime mortgage bonds in 2007, is what allowed NYU to build the new academic complex.
The brand-new 735,000-square-foot facility will transform how NYU students and faculty live and learn.
The facility includes an acoustically balanced hall and rehearsal space for orchestras, several theaters -- one with movable walls and special rigging on par with Broadway theaters, classrooms, a first-class fitness center and vast common spaces throughout.
"To have all of this under one roof, to have this hub of student life going on in this building for us, is thrilling," NYU President Andrew Hamilton said.
Under construction for seven years, the John A. Paulson Center at 181 Mercer Street is scheduled to open in January.
Paulson was joined at the dedication ceremony by former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, himself an NYU alumnus, who will join the university's Wagner School in January as the 2023 Marnold Visiting Fellow.
"I loved coming here from the first day of school until today, it's been a great experience for me and I was successful in life and wanted to give something back to the school," Paulson said.
Another unique feature is the windows on the building. The glass lets in light but filters out sun which means less air conditioning and it will help prevent bird strikes.
"This will become very much a cultural magnet for community members in this region of southern Manhattan and beyond," Paulson said.
The gift is among the largest NYU has ever received at its Washington Square Campus.
The block-long building will once again architecturally redefine the university's footprint in Greenwich Village.
Paulson is a 1978 graduate of NYU's Stern School of Business. He made the commitment to the building about a decade ago and has already contributed the full amount.