Testimony for the City Planning Commission Cornell NYC Tech Project

My name is Nicolas Ronderos; I’m New York director of Regional Plan Association, a private, nonprofit research and planning organization serving the greater New York metropolitan region. RPA would like to express support for the Cornell NYC Tech Project, which entails the development of a new applied sciences and engineering campus by Cornell University in collaboration with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology on the site of the existing Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

The project will result in construction of three new Cornell academic research buildings, three new corporate co-location buildings that would include space for private companies that wish to take advantage of proximity to Cornell’s academic community and personnel, two new residential buildings to house a portion of the Cornell academic population affiliated with the new campus, a mixed-use building that comprises corporate co-location space at the base with a residential tower for Cornell personnel above, an Executive Education Center with hotel and conference facilities, two central utility buildings, a modest amount of campus-oriented retail space, and publicly-accessible open space. In addition, it is anticipated that parking may be provided at the project site, with 250 spaces in each of Phase 1 and 2. The total amount of development would be approximately 2.13 million square feet by the anticipated completion year of 2038.

RPA supports the project given its expected economic impact of tens of thousands of permanent jobs created from spin-offs, licenses and corporate growth by Cornell Tech graduates, thousands of temporary construction jobs and permanent jobs for campus operations, the project’s investment of $150 mm over 30 years in NYC area tech start-ups in partnership with venture capital investors. Cornell has also agreed to include in its educational programing over 10,000 school children and 200 teachers. This commitment to the City and Roosevelt Island has resulted in overwhelming support from Manhattan Community Board 8 and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

RPA supports the Cornell NYC Tech project since the establishment of top-tier applied sciences and engineering campuses in New York City is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically increase our potential for economic growth.