City Gives $15M to Bring NYU Tech Campus to Brooklyn

By Jill Colvin on April 23, 2012 11:54am | Updated on April 23, 2012 4:59pm

A rendering of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress at 370 Jay St.
A rendering of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress at 370 Jay St.
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NYU

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — NYU will build a new, high-tech campus in Downtown Brooklyn, on the heels of the multi-million dollar deal that will place a cutting edge Cornell campus on Roosevelt Island.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYU President John Sexton announced a deal Monday to construct the new Center for Urban Science and Progress — or CUSP — at 370 Jay St., an old MTA building, using $15 million in city funds.

The new applied science campus was one of seven original entrants in the city's high-profile $100 million competition to build a new state-of-the art engineering and applied science graduate school on free city land, which Cornell won.

“When we announced the applied science competition last July, we had always hoped that it might produce more than one winner," Bloomberg told reporters at a press conference announcing the school, which he said was expected to help drive $5.5 billion in economic activity and 7,700 jobs.

The new CUSP program, which will begin off-site at NYU Poly in the fall of 2013, will focus on cities and how they can improve energy efficiency, reduce congestion and improve the quality of life for residents, officials said.

The school will be built in the city-owned Jay Street building, which is presently leased to the MTA and has been used mainly for storage for decades.

The city has pledged up to $15 million to help NYU purchase the building. NYU will cover the remaining $60 million it will take to remove the old MTA and NYPD equipment, officials said.

Once completed in the fall of 2017, the new campus, which is expected to serve 530 master's and doctoral students and 50 faculty, will include classrooms, high-tech laboratories and business incubator spaces.

It will also maintain connections with Carnegie Mellon, CUNY, the University of Toronto, the University of Warwick and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay as well as corporate partners, including IBM, Cisco Systems, Siemens AG. It will offer a $20 million "innovation fund" for alums.

A rendering of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress at 370 Jay St.
A rendering of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress at 370 Jay St.
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NYU

“You thought that when Brooklyn got a Shake Shack, it had everything," joked Bloomberg, who has made establishing the city as a hub for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs one of the priorities of his third term.

The new school is also expected to spur development in Brooklyn's emerging Tech Triangle, which stretches from Downtown Brooklyn to DUMBO to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The area, home to $3.13-billion-a-year industry supporting more than 32,700 jobs in 500 companies, is expected to to grow by 87 percent to a $5.85-billion-a-year industry with more than 600 firms and 61,000 jobs by 2015, according to a survey by the Tech Triangle Coalition of firms released Monday.  

"This is a game changer for Downtown Brooklyn and for New York," State Sen. Daniel Squadron said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn noted the neighborhood is now home to more students than Cambridge, Mass.

“I just want to say, Boston, you’re going to go down again!” she said.

Brooklyn officials have been rallying the city to embrace the school ever since Cornell and Israeli heavyweight Technion-Israel Institute of Technology were crowned the contest winners in December.

Cornell is planning an expansive, two million square-foot, $2 billion campus on Roosevelt Island that will eventually house 2,500 students and nearly 300 faculty members, complete with classroom, dormitories and research laboratories on the site of the current Goldwater Hospital, which is slated to close in 2014.

Bloomberg said the city is also still considering a bid by Columbia University to build a new Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering as part of its $6 billion plan to expand into 17 acres of an industrial pocket of Manhattanville as well as one from Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon, which is eyeing a new campus on the abandoned Navy Hospital at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where it wants to create a new entertainment technology center in partnership with Steiner Studios.

Mayor Mcihael Bloomberg and NYU President John Sexton announced a deal to build the new Center for Urban Science and Progress — or CUSP — at 370 Jay St.
Mayor Mcihael Bloomberg and NYU President John Sexton announced a deal to build the new Center for Urban Science and Progress — or CUSP — at 370 Jay St.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

"We want to build more of these exciting schools," Bloomberg said.

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