From Daniel Squadron via Twitter
Our own Nitasha Tiku has the definitive take this morning on why Cornell was chosen over Stanford to build a new high-tech engineering campus here, but this morning a handful of lawmakers gathered in Brooklyn to push to keep the competition open.
The group would like to see an NYU and Polytech campus for applied sciences open in the borough, at 370 Jay Street, currently the site of a long empty MTA headquarters.
“By pursuing NYU-Poly’s proposal, the City can bring a world-class applied sciences institute to Brooklyn and Brooklyn’s incredible talent and vibrant tech scene to the world,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “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.”
Mayor Bloomberg had previously hinted that there could be more than one winner of the competition, but that remark was mostly taken to mean that both Stanford and Cornell could win.
The full release is below:
Today, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Senator Daniel Squadron joined Brooklyn elected officials and community and business leaders to rally in support of New York University’s and the Polytechnic Institute’s proposal for an applied sciences campus at 370 Jay Street.
Putting the long-empty former MTA headquarters at 370 Jay Street to use would be a game-changer for Downtown Brooklyn — creating a hub for science and technology that connects the budding tech community in DUMBO and the surrounding neighborhoods with NYU-Poly’s proposed Center for Urban Science and Progress, as well as City Tech and Poly’s existing campuses. Elected officials and the community have long called for 370 Jay Street to be put to productive use, and pursuing this proposal would be a major step forward in the continued resurgence of Downtown Brooklyn
This week, the City announced that a proposal by Cornell University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology was selected as the first winner in the Applied Sciences NYC competition, while making clear that the competition is not over.
“By pursuing NYU-Poly’s proposal, the City can bring a world-class applied sciences institute to Brooklyn and Brooklyn’s incredible talent and vibrant tech scene to the world,” said Senator Squadron. “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. The City chose a worthy first winner in the Cornell-Technion proposal. But the competition is not over, and NYU-Poly’s proposal for Downtown Brooklyn would be a very worthy additional choice and a great opportunity for New York City as it continues on its path of innovation.”
“Congratulations to Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology on their selection to build an applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island, which under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Steel and EDC President Seth Pinsky, helps sets the stage for an education and research powerhouse that will make Cornell and New York City international leaders in engineering and high tech innovation while creating much-needed jobs for our city,” said Borough President Markowitz. “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. I normally don’t celebrate Brooklyn being a runner-up in anything, but considering the importance of this center to the future of Brooklyn and New York City, in this case I would happily make an exception.”
“The MTA’s long-vacant building at 370 Jay St. could be transformed into a modern research center, which has been proposed by New York University’s latest expansion plans for Downtown Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember Joan Millman. “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.”
“I am pleased to stand with my colleagues in support of NYU-Poly’s Applied Sciences NYC proposal for Downtown Brooklyn,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “Repurposing 370 Jay Street is an inspired plan for bringing the cutting edge of tomorrow’s science and engineering to the heart of Brooklyn. This will ensure that Brooklyn will be the capital of the New York City of Tomorrow!”
“I am excited by what Cornell University and the Technion Institute will bring to the city,” said Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. “Downtown Brooklyn is the perfect place for a complementary program – centrally located and close to the city’s centers of digital innovation and finance. Though Brooklyn has long been overlooked for projects of this importance, the proximity to the businesses that will bring us the jobs is key. Our rich human and intellectual resources, coupled with the excellence of NYU’s engineering school make Brooklyn the other logical place for an applied science center. Implementing NYU’s proposal will prove the city’s commitment to the future beyond a single, stand-alone gesture and make a fine complement to the Cornell-Technion campus.”
“The proposed NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress belongs in downtown Brooklyn,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “Brooklyn is vibrant and youthful and a renovated 370 Jay Street is the perfect location for a University facility that will be a tech incubator for generations to come. I am proud to stand alongside neighborhood leaders and my fellow elected officials in support of this site for NYU. Brooklyn is the future of New York City and we should be home to the technological innovations that will continue to make NYC the best city in the world.”
“With all due respect to Cornell University and the Israel Institute of Technology, it is important that a City-based institution get a fair chance to utilize this space,” said Council Member Letitia James. “We have an opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art science and technology center in Downtown Brooklyn, building on New York University and the Polytechnic Institute’s existing partnership— that proposal deserves serious consideration.”
“Poor 370 Jay Street. It’s been lonely too long,” said District Leader Jo Anne Simon (52nd A.D.). “For far too many years, it’s been deserted and desolate, falling into disrepair and not giving back to the local economy, much less the pockets of transit riders. Putting 370 Jay to work, creating a center for science and technology, will put New Yorkers to work. NYU-Poly’s proposed Center for Urban Science and Progress will bring a new vitality and a stronger interconnectedness between Downtown Brooklyn‘s educational institutions, including City Tech, and the surrounding neighborhoods.”
“NYU-Poly’s plan for transforming 370 Jay Street into an applied sciences school couldn’t be a better fit for the renaissance occurring in Downtown Brooklyn and for the expansion of Brooklyn’s growing tech sector,” said Michael Burke, COO of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “On behalf of everyone with a stake in Downtown Brooklyn’s future, thanks to Borough President Markowitz and Senator Squadron for their strong advocacy on the building’s re-use.”
“DUMBO is home to more than a hundred technology firms, digital and creative start-ups that are growing — some at a faster pace than there is talent available. NYU-Poly’s proposal for 370 Jay Street would provide these companies with a highly skilled workforce in their backyard,” said Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO BID. ”Furthermore, having an applied sciences school at 370 Jay Street will help DUMBO and the greater Downtown Brooklyn area to continue to grow as a location for tech-based companies that choose to be here around like-minded companies and innovators”