May 8, 2013

NYC Council says 'yes' to Cornell Tech

On May 8, with final approval from the New York City Council, Cornell NYC Tech completed the land use review process for its New York City campus. The council voted 46-2 in favor of the project.

The review process began in the fall and included approval from Community Board 8, Borough President Scott Stringer and the City Planning Commission. Cornell Tech expects to break ground on Roosevelt Island in early 2014, with the first phase to be completed in 2017, and full build-out planned for 2037.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of the city council for Cornell Tech,” said Cathy Dove, vice president of Cornell Tech. “We worked throughout the public review process to incorporate input from the community into our approach – that input has resulted in a stronger campus plan. We are confident the result is a campus we can all be proud of and that will benefit both the Roosevelt Island community and the entire city. We look forward to breaking ground next year and continuing to work closely with the community as our campus develops.”

As part of the process, Cornell and the city have made a series of commitments to ensure that the new campus is a good neighbor to the Roosevelt Island community and delivers lasting benefits to the entire city.

On the construction side, this includes an innovative program to reduce truck trips by reusing demolished materials on site and barging some of the heaviest and bulkiest construction materials.

On the program side, Cornell Tech will be an active member of the New York City community with a number of programs, including those around K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, and an intensive program with the public school on Roosevelt Island.

The campus will provide access to its facilities for local community organizations, computer training for seniors and mentoring programs for post-high school young adults.

Completion of the land use review process is the latest major milestone for the campus. Cornell Tech launched its first degree program in January – a Master of Engineering in computer science – and is rapidly rolling out its academic programs, recruiting faculty, developing a distinctive new model of tech entrepreneurship, and developing a dual degree program with academic partner the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute was recently named following a significant gift from Irwin Jacobs ’54 and Joan Jacobs ’54.