By Linda O’Flanagan
Brooklyn politicians last week rallied in support of a plan by New York University and Polytechnic Institute to build an applied sciences campus at 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Putting the long-empty former MTA headquarters at 370 Jay Street to use would be a game-changer for Downtown Brooklyn, according to Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Just days after the city announced that Cornell University had won the rights to build a super-school for the sciences on Roosevelt Island, Markowtiz said, “With today’s announcement behind us, let’s now look ahead to the new year and make the case that New York deserves more than one first-rate applied sciences school and that serious consideration be given to New York University’s partnership with Polytech proposed for 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn — home to more college students than Cambridge, Massachusetts — as well as Carnegie Mellon’s plans for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which along with DUMBO, is part of our borough’s emerging new Silicon Valley.
“Both locations offer a unique opportunity to create a job-creating epicenter of learning, research and innovation.”
NYU has proposed expanding its campus at 1 Metrotech Center in Downtown Brooklyn and at 370 Jay Street, a long-vacant former MTA facility.
“A Center for Urban Science and Progress at 370 Jay presents a long-awaited opportunity to finally put the nearly-abandoned building to use, allowing Downtown Brooklyn to continue to grow and thrive,” said Senator Daniel Squadron during the rally.
Assemblymember Joan Millman said the new school Center for Urban Science and Progress would be for NYU’s planned graduate program applied sciences, which would include collaboration with IBM, Carnegie Mellon and other universities.
State Senator Velmanette Montgomery added that repurposing 370 Jay Street is “an inspired plan for bringing the cutting edge of tomorrow’s science and engineering to the heart of Brooklyn.”
Ground is scheduled to be broken in 2015 for the Cornell University two million square feet campus on Roosevelt Island. 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.