U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, LaGuardia President Dr. Gail O. Mellow Hail Roosevelt Island Announcement

0 comments Article, Dec 21, 2011
Rendering of New Applied Sciences Campus

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced an historic partnership to build a two-million-square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City.  This announcement marks New York City’s effort to increase its foot print in the applied sciences helping to dramatically transform the City’s economy. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement at Cornell’s Weill Cornell Medical College, and was also joined by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, New York City Economic Development President Seth W. Pinsky and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as well as other civic and business leaders

Cornell/Technion’s proposal was among the many strong proposals that were submitted to the City from a number of world-class institutions around the globe.  Cornell/Technion was ultimately selected due to the large scale and vision of their proposal, the long and impressive track-record of both institutions in generating applied science breakthroughs and spinning out new businesses and the focus of the consortium on the collaboration between academia and the private sector.

“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.”

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.

“When people look back 100 years from now, I believe that they will remember today as a signal moment in the transformation of the City’s economy,” Deputy Mayor Steel said. “This is an inflection point in an economic renaissance that will position New York City for outsized success in the decades and centuries to come.”

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney today hailed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s selection as “a wonderful holiday gift for New York that will pay tremendous dividends for generations.  Our city’s diversity, culture, transit network, and historic role as the center of the world economy have always given us the ability to lead in the high-tech sector -- and this new campus will be the catalyst to help us realize that potential,” Maloney said.  “Roosevelt Island will be an outstanding site for a high-tech campus - accessible by transportation, in the heart of the city near Manhattan and Queens, but an island unto itself that will offer a peaceful campus environment.  It is perfectly situated to spin off new projects that can be incubated in the growing business district in Long Island City.”

The New York City Economic Development Corporation projects that an applied-sciences facility could, over time, spin out more than 400 new businesses across the city, generating billions of dollars in new economic activity and creating tens of thousands of jobs.  These jobs will not only benefit academics and researchers; they will also benefit New Yorkers of all skill levels, as universities and technology businesses employ people in a diverse range of jobs and generally pay higher salaries to employees without college degrees than do other sectors of the economy.

LaGuardia Community College, founded in 1971 in some of Long Island City’s old factory buildings as part of the City University of New York (“CUNY”), educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs that help transform student’s lives. Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College said today that “the engineering school envisioned for Roosevelt Island could open up tremendous opportunities for LaGuardia students and all New Yorkers. The businesses that potentially get spun off are going to need highly skilled graduates who can write computer code, market products, write content and market to the world. LaGuardia's students will only have richer opportunities ahead."

Long Island City, Queens West and Hunter's Point South students and professionals could all benefit and contribute to this important development.

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