Silicon Alley U

Mayor Bloomberg Announces a Second Tech Campus: NYU’s Applied Sciences Center in Downtown Brooklyn

NYU President John Sexton will be on hand for the announcement.
nyucampus Mayor Bloomberg Announces a Second Tech Campus: NYUs Applied Sciences Center in Downtown Brooklyn

NYU's initial proposal for a tech campus at 370 Jay St.

UPDATE: Read our liveblog of the Mayor’s press conference about the NYU’s new Brooklyn campus here.

Well that was well-timed! Hours after The New Yorker posted a profile of Stanford that tore at old wounds about the innovation engine’s decision to drop out of building an engineering campus in NYC–blame sour grapes or Seth Pinsky, depending on who you ask–the city is finally ready to make an announcement about a secondary initiative.

According to Mayor Bloomberg’s schedule, it looks like the second-place winner is a bid from NYU and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly). In its initial proposal, NYU wanted to transform the derelict former MTA headquarters at 370 Jay Street into a Center for Urban Science and Progress. At 1pm this afternoon, the Mayor will be joining NYU President John Sexton to announce a partnership to create a new “applied sciences center in Downtown Brooklyn.” 

A quick refresher: Back in December, when a joint submission from Cornell-Technion was named the winner of the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s competition to build an applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island, Mayor Bloomberg also teased the possibility that a secondary winner would be named among the three remaining proposals: NYU (Downtown Brooklyn), Columbia (Manhattanville), and Carnegie Mellon (Brooklyn Navy Yard).

The only hangup? The entire $100 million grant from the city for the campus contest had been allotted to Cornell-Technion, meaning the new project (or projects, the city said they would love to build all three) would likely have to rely on philanthropic donations or some creative financing on the city’s part in terms of incentives. That’s probably why this announcement took months longer than expected.

It’s unclear whether NYU’s proposal, which also got hung up on the MTA’s buyout price for 370 Jay St., will still be at the same location and cover the same scope as initially proposed. But we’ll be live-blogging the presser and let you know as soon as we find out. Brooklyn politicians–and real estate developers!–have been lobbying hard for this to get approved, so expect plenty of self-congratulatory back-patting.

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