Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute are to build a new two million square feet applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island.
At a press conference on Monday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cornell president David J. Skorton, and Technion-Israel president Peretz Lavie announced the partnership between the two leading institutions had beat out competition from around the globe to win the rights to the venture.
In addition to the Roosevelt Island site, the City will also provide $100 million in City capital to assist with site infrastructure, construction, and related costs.
This is the first selection announcement for the Applied Sciences NYC initiative. Discussions are ongoing with other respondents — Carnegie Mellon, Columbia and a New York University-led consortium — and the possibility of additional science and engineering partnerships in the City is still open, said the mayor.
“Thanks to this outstanding partnership and groundbreaking proposal from Cornell and the Technion, New York City’s goal of becoming the global leader in technological innovation is now within sight,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
“By adding a new state-of-the-art institution to our landscape, we will educate tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and create the jobs of the future. This partnership has so much promise because we share the same goal: to make New York City home to the world’s most talented workforce.”
President Skorton said, “Starting today, we are going to put our plan to work, tapping into our extensive connections throughout the city and build a truly 21st Century campus to fuel the creation of new businesses and new industries throughout the city for decades to come.”
Cornell received a $350 million gift from an anonymous donor, the largest contribution in the university’s history and one of the largest in the history of American higher education, which will support the NYCTech Campus project.
Cornell/Technion has laid out an aggressive plan for the project, which will ultimately culminate in the completion of a two million square foot build-out housing up to 2,500 students and nearly 280 faculty members by 2043.
Prior to commencement of construction on Roosevelt Island, Cornell/Technion plans to open in an off-site location in 2012, with the first phase of their permanent Roosevelt Island home expected to open by no later than 2017.
By 2027 the campus will have expanded to over 1.3 million square feet. Cornell/Technion has agreed to a 99-year lease for the Roosevelt Island site, with an option to purchase the land at the end of the term for $1.
Cornell will develop and own the campus itself, and will assume financial responsibility for its establishment and operations.
According to an economic impact analysis, which was completed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the new campus will generate more than $7.5 billion (NPV) and more than $23 billion in overall economic activity over the course of the next three decades, as well as $1.4 billion in total tax revenue. The campus alone will help create up to 20,000 construction jobs and up to 8,000 permanent jobs.
And, it is expected to generate nearly 600 spin-off companies over the projection period – projected to create up to an additional 30,000 permanent jobs.
Academic uses will include classrooms, laboratories, libraries, teaming areas and lecture halls, as well as start-up incubator and accelerator space. The remainder of the space will be devoted to residential uses, a conference center, as well as ancillary uses, such as retail in support of the faculty, staff and students on the campus.
The campus is planned to include a solar array that will generate 1.8 megawatts at daily peak and a 400 well geothermal field, which uses the constant temperature of the earth to cool buildings in the summer and heat them in the winter. The well field and solar array would each be largest in New York City if built today.
The campus will not only employ some of the most sophisticated environmental technology in the world, it will also help develop them, serving as a living laboratory for the Built Environment hub.
“With Cornell and Technion as partners, New York City is set to embark on a truly exciting new project that will forever alter New York City’s physical and economic landscape,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.
“Not only will this campus create thousands of good construction and permanent jobs for New Yorkers all across the five boroughs, it will also strengthen the City’s economy for decades to come. We applaud Mayor Bloomberg, Cornell and Technion, and all those who will work collaboratively over the next several years to turn what was once a dream into a thriving economic engine for New York City.”
The project is now scheduled to move into the environmental and land use review process, including the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Process, with all review expected to be completed by the fall of 2013.
Groundbreaking on the first phase of the Roosevelt Island campus is expected by the beginning of 2015.