Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially signed over 12 acres of city land to Cornell Tech under a 99-year lease on Thursday, allowing for groundbreaking on the Roosevelt Island campus to begin in January.
The first classrooms are set to open in 2017. Construction of the entire 2 million square-foot campus, which will house approximately 2,000 students and 280 faculty and researchers, will be completed in 2043.
“Our goal has been to make New York City the global capital of technological innovation, and this new campus on Roosevelt Island is a central part of our strategy for achieving it,” Bloomberg said.
“It is one of the most ambitious and forward-looking economic development projects any city has ever undertaken, and it’s going to help add thousands of new jobs to our economy in the decades ahead,” he added.
Thursday’s ceremony marked exactly two years since Cornell University and partner Technion-Israel Institute of Technology were announced the first winners of the Applied Sciences NYC competition. Launched in 2010, the initiative was created to bring applied sciences and engineering campuses to the city.
The Roosevelt Island campus will sit just south of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, currently the site of Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility. Patients were moved to a new facility in Harlem last month.
Cornell Tech classes already began this fall in space donated by Google at its headquarters in Chelsea.
The three other Applied Sciences NYC campuses are The Center for Urban Science and Progress in Downtown Brooklyn, The Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering at Columbia University and Carnegie Mellon University’s Integrative Media Program at Steiner Studios.
According to the mayor’s office, the schools are expected to generate more than $33.2 billion in nominal economic activity, over 48,000 permanent and construction jobs and approximately 1,000 spin-off companies by 2046.