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NYU Top Contender for Second City Tech Campus, Report Says

By Amy Zimmer | January 3, 2012 12:41pm | Updated on January 3, 2012 3:42pm
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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MANHATTAN — Cornell has already been named the winner of the city's $100 million grant to develop a new tech campus on Roosevelt Island, but NYC's own universities aren't completely out of the running for a second campus.

According to Crain's New York Business, the bid from New York University is taking the lead in the negotiations process, as city reportedly continues to consider proposals.

NYU's proposal would build a Center for Urban Science and Progress at 370 Jay St., an empty, city-owned building presently leased to the MTA. The MTA holds a long term lease on the building, and would be responsible for leasing the building to NYU. Crain's said that NYU had initially asked the city for $20 million for the building but the MTA is now seeking to charge between $50 million and $60 million. The MTA, however, disputed those figures.

"We are working with the city to provide a facility that better serves the needs of the community and to ensure that the MTA receives fair value for the building," an MTA spokesman said.

NYU's program would focus on how cities can improve energy efficiency, reduce congestion and pollution, use data to more effectively inform citizens, enhance security and ensure a high quality of life, school officials said. 

The school would team up with Carnegie Mellon, CUNY, the University of Toronto, the University of Warwick and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay as well as with corporate partners, including IBM, Cisco Systems, Siemens AG. It would serve 50 researchers and faculty and more than 500 graduate students.

"NYU and its partners are enthusiastically continuing our talks with city on establishing a new applied sciences institute in Downtown Brooklyn," NYU senior vice president Lynne Browne said in a statement. "We are optimistic about a good outcome."

The Jay Street building in Downtown Brooklyn, which is next to NYU-Poly, would be renovated with a part of the building demolished to create a new six-story wing for state-of-the-art lab space, NYU officials said.

The city is also reportedly still looking at 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.