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Old Posted Dec 27, 2011, 9:01 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | Roosevelt Island Science Center

Mayor Bloomberg: New York City Ready To Declare War On Silicon Valley
December 19, 2011 8:05 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Cornell University and the Technion Institute of Technology of Israel have been selected by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help build a Roosevelt Island Science Center into a rival of California’s Silicon Valley.

It was a multi-billion dollar competition to build a 2 million square-foot applied science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island that Bloomberg hopes will catapult New York City into becoming the leading developer of innovation and technology in the country, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

“Today will be remembered as a defining moment,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor said Cornell and Technion have some incredible plans for the future.

“Their sweeping proposal envisions an 11-acre campus on the Goldwater Hospital site on Roosevelt Island right in the heart of our city. It promises to create a beehive of innovation and discovery,” Bloomberg said.

The program is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to build new businesses in New York and to develop the five boroughs as the technical business capital of the world.

“It really is a game changer. In fact, the economic impact will be even greater than we originally thought,” Bloomberg said. “It will generate more than $23 billion in economic activity over the next three decades as well as $1.4 billion in tax revenues.

“This is a story of connectivity of connectivity between people and their ideas between researchers and business people between students and their dreams,” Cornell President David Skorton said.

The Technion president was told by city officials why they wanted his school to be part of the new development.

“You university took a country with a Jaffa oranges economy and turned it into a semi-conductor economy,” Professor Peretz Lavie said.
The mayor estimates that the school will generate 600 private start-up companies, which will generate in and of themselves another 30,000 jobs.

The school expects to open an off-site campaign in the next year. The first students will attend class on Roosevelt Island by 2017.

EAST, NEWSLETTER | TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2011 | JULIE V. IOVINE With additional reporting by Tom Stoelker.

With his hand essentially forced by a hasty withdraw of Stanford on Friday, and the hugely enticing carrot of a $350 million gift from Duty-Free billionaire and Cornell alum Charles Feeney, Mayor Bloomberg announced on Monday that the Cornell team will be building the NYC Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island. The terms “game changer” and “transformative” were bandied about with regularity throughout the mayor’s midday press conference, which was streamed live on the net to the delight of Cornell’s partnering campus, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology. The Israeli students’ digitally lapsed cheering added a techy touch.

The mayor said the plan was the boldest and most ambitious of the entries. Ultimately, the two million square foot campus will include housing for 2,500 students and 280 faculty members. A 150,000 square foot net-zero building just south of the Queensboro Bridge on the 10-acre site of Goldwater Hospital promises to be “the largest net-zero energy building in the eastern United States.”

The effort was praised for its community inclusiveness with over a half a million square feet of open space to be designed by Field Operations, $150 million in start up capital for spin-off businesses, and public school programming for 10,000 students. SOM’s green roofed net-zero building may have been the engineering coup de gras that put the other teams out of the running, but the waterfront access won over many.

For now, inclusiveness may have to stand in for connectedness. The island has one subway stop on the F line and a somewhat recently upgraded air tram. The Queensboro bridge sweeps right over it. A 2009 report on Roosevelt Island’s accessibility (AccessRI) commissioned by NY State Senator Jose Serrano and conducted by the Hunter College Department of Urban Affairs and Planning found that the existing infrastructure is in need of repair and already stretched to capacity. Infrastructure upgrades by the city to the tune of $100 million are part of the competition offerings. Noting that the current residents on the island “are struggling with a myriad of issues that range from problems caused by aging and neglected infrastructure to demographic and social changes” coupled with ”perceptions of inadequate governance that result in the feeling that their concerns are ignored and will never be addressed,” AccessRI called for legislation not only to improve the island’s physical connections on and between the island and the city but also to restructure its governance. Currently, the island is owned by the city but operated by a state-chartered corporation, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), a set-up that island residents complained lacked transparency and accessibility.

At Monday’s press conference, Mayor Bloomberg joked that he looked forward to seeing increased water taxi service on the East River and all around Roosevelt Island. But it will take more than water taxis to make Roosevelt Island and the NYTech Campus a tangible success story.



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