The prospects of a new engineering campus in New York City motivated several major research universities to submit proposals that could create 22,000 jobs over the next 30 years and could pump billions of dollars into the city's economy.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also the founder of Bloomberg news wire, announced the land incentives and $100 million seed money to build the high-tech facility in July, and officials expect to announce the winner in December.
Stanford, Cornell, Columbia, and Carnegie Mellon, the New York Genome Center and Israel-based Technion University are among a few of the contenders in the project. Stanford and Cornell are the likely frontrunners to receive the green light from the Bloomberg administration, since the two universities announced the most detailed and ambitious plans, the media widely reported.
The two research powerhouses unveiled plans to turn a 10-acre portion of the bedroom community of Roosevelt Island into a green campus. Cornell proposed a set of high-tech buildings that they call 'net zero' - the buildings would generate as much energy as they consume, by harnessing geothermal and sun energy. Cornell's proposed campus would include 150,000 square feet, making it one of the largest net-zero energy buildings in the U.S, according to university officials.
Stanford's proposed campus would also develop Roosevelt Island. The California-based university would spend $2.5 billion over 10 years to develop the 1.9 million square foot facility, which would also be engineered meet or exceed international environmental design standards for energy use and carbon emissions.
Bloomberg estimated that a tech campus would create about 22,000 new jobs over the course of the first 30 years.
The ambitious plans to increase the city's academic prowess come at a time when there is already a surge in new campus development. Columbia University is building $7 billion in new properties in West Harlem.
Though the current plan is to award land and money to one university, Bloomberg alluded to the possibility of creating multiple tech-related campus projects.
The interest is off the charts, Bloomberg said last week in an interview. We are just blessed. Think about it, you have the major universities around this country or around the world, many of them fighting to open a campus in New York City.
The deadline to submit project proposals for the new tech campus was Oct. 28. Officials expect to announce the winning proposal in December.
Roosevelt Island is seated in the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City. (Google Maps)
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