Tag Archives: cornell tech

Long Island City ‘suffering from the side effects of its very success’


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

It has been on the minds of Long Island City leaders for a while, and during the second annual LIC Summit on Tuesday it was brought to light during the first panel entitled “City within the City.”

“It” refers to the struggle to maintain balance between building new residential and commercial structures while keeping older manufacturing spaces, which traditionally form the backbone of Long Island City.

The Long Island City Partnership, which co-hosted the LIC Summit with The Queens Courier and brokerage Modern Spaces, was even awarded a $100,000 grant in January to conduct a planning study of the neighborhood that would, in part, find an answer to maintaining the balance. The study is still in its preliminary stages, so a solution has not yet been found.

“Like with the city as a whole, in some ways Long Island City is suffering from the side effects of its very success,” said Seth Pinsky, vice president of RXR Realty, during the panel in front of more than 300 professionals and leaders in the Museum of Moving Image.

Pinsky pointed out that high demand to move to Long Island City causes land valuations to surge to levels where only residential projects would make financial sense, which stifles commercial development. In turn, developers convert industrial buildings into offices and retail, displacing old manufacturing jobs that many city residents without higher education have relied on for a long time.

But Pinsky’s point was challenged by Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, who urged against preserving spaces for older manufacturing and looking toward jobs for companies of the future, such as 3-D printing firm Shapeways and other technology businesses. These would require higher levels of education, which institutions such as the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island would provide.

“The emotional pull of manufacturing as we think of it in the past, the good blue-collar jobs for a population that didn’t have Ph.D.s, is not the future of manufacturing,” Wylde said. “Robots are going to replace people in most manufacturing. It’s not going to be the same kind of job provider that it has been in the past.”

Pinsky disagreed partly and countered that some old sections of manufacturing will still be important for the “foreseeable future,” such as construction, warehousing and distribution, because they will provide necessary services for businesses in the city. He added that there is a feeling that areas in LIC could easily become zoned residential and many workers would lose jobs as businesses close or move.

The problem of finding balance in Long Island City could be answered with a rezoning. Some of the first panelists agreed that the current proposal to rezone certain sections of Long Island City for more high-rise housing has to be examined more closely by the City Planning Department.

“I think that this is an opportunity for us to strike that right balance and find the density for the affordable housing that the administration is looking for,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said, “but also preserve some of the things that are worth preserving.”

Industry leaders also talked about the future of transportation, tourism, culture, zoning and LIC as a home for business in ensuing panels at the event.

And infrastructure problems in LIC, such as lack of green spaces and the need for more schools, were discussed as well. Van Bramer even promised that they are looking for spaces for new schools.

With various art and cultural institutions, restaurants, entertainment venues and a hotel sector— which is currently up to 26 buildings but has more than two dozen more in the pipeline — many recognized that LIC has become a destination with incredible growth.

During her opening speech, Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, revealed renderings of LIC two years in the future after 10 new towers will be added to the growing skyline. The dramatic expansion shown through the image caused gasps from audience members.

“There is a lot on the way,” Lusskin said. “And we’re not talking 10 years, we’re talking two years.”

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Construction on Cornell Tech campus begins on Roosevelt Island


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre. Renderings courtesy Weiss/Manfredi

Construction kicked off Tuesday on the $2 billion Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech campus, which many predict will be a feeder of skilled entrepreneurs for the western Queens technology community.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, were both in attendance to support the building of the applied sciences campus, which will span 12 acres on Roosevelt Island and house 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff. The first phase of the campus is expected to open in the summer of 2017.

“Mr. Mayor, you remember a phrase from a great American movie, ‘if you build it, they will come’? I think this epitomizes it,” de Blasio said to his predecessor. “I think Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to create an environment for the tech sector had an extraordinary impact. This is one of the signature elements and we are proud to be building upon that tradition.”

Cornell Tech, which was selected by the city’s Economic Development Corporation over 17 other proposed schools in 2011, has been running out of Google’s Chelsea building since 2013.

In May, 73 master’s students in computer science and business and two Ph.D. students graduated from Cornell Tech. More than half of the graduates stayed in New York for jobs or to begin their own startups, which lends to the belief that the new school will energize the growing tech community in the city, which has spread to Long Island City.

Just south of the Queensboro Bridge, the 2-million-square-foot tech campus will have four buildings with innovative technology in the first phase of development.

Bloomberg, who pushed for the tech campus on Roosevelt Island during his tenure, donated $100 million through Bloomberg Philanthropies to help build the school. Cornell will rename the First Academic Building, which will now be called The Bloomberg Center.

The center, which is designed by Morphosis Architects, will have classrooms and private work spaces.

Another building on the campus called The Bridge at Cornell Tech, which was designed by architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi and built by Forest City Ratner Companies, will house startups and established companies.

The 26-story residential building on the campus, designed by Handel Architects, will be the tallest building on the campus and it will meet strict international energy consumption Passive House standards. Faculty members and students will live in the 350 apartments in the building.

The campus will also have the Verizon Executive Education Center, which will be used for conferences and meetups, and there will be 2.5 acres of open space for the school community.

 

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Permits filed for building at new Cornell Tech campus


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of Weiss/Manfredi

For now Cornell University’s Tech campus is located in Google’s building in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

But it’s widely expected that when Cornell’s new 2-million-square-foot tech campus opens on Roosevelt Island in 2017, the young leading minds of a new era will pour into Long Island City via the Queensboro Bridge for work opportunities and cheaper residences than Manhattan—as well as a world-class skyline view.

That long-awaited boon for the Queens tech community just took another step forward as Weiss/Manfredi Architecture filed an application with the Buildings Department Monday for the new corporate co-location office building on the campus.

The new 188,603-square-foot building will be six stories tall, according to the city filing, and will have a 38-car parking garage. There will be space within the building for students, faculty and firms on campus, according to Cornell.

Campus 6

The building is filed for 1 Main St. on Roosevelt Island, which is technically in Manhattan, and the land is owned by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Forest City Ratner Companies is developing the building.

In addition to the corporate co-location building, there will be a residential building, designed by Handel Architects, which includes 350 student housings units, with a mix of one, two and three bedroom suites.

Amenities in the residential building include a roof deck, gym, bike room, lounge and various media rooms, according to Cornell. In total there will be housing for 2,000 students and 280 faculty members.

The future campus will have 2.5 acres of new green space, including an outdoor campus plaza called the “Tech Walk” with outdoor benches and trees.

Architect firm Morphosis is designing the first academic building on the campus, which will feature academic classrooms and facilities.

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Cornell Tech releases plans of eco-friendly Roosevelt Island campus


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Kilograph

Cornell’s New York City tech university — slated to open in 2017 — released plans of an innovative, energy efficient campus with views of both Manhattan and Queens.

“Just as Cornell Tech will be pioneering new approaches to graduate research and education, our campus won’t look like any other university campus that exists today,” said Daniel Huttenlocher, dean of Cornell Tech. “We are determined to innovate in every aspect of the development, from the way that students, faculty, researchers, industry and the community are intermingled, to the sustainability of our buildings and their iconic architecture.”

As the campus’ seven-month land use review process commences, the university released renderings of its Roosevelt Island campus that will soon be home to thousands of graduate students focused on technology and entrepreneurship.

The first academic building — designed Thom Mayne and Morphosis Architects — is planned to be a net-zero energy building, meaning it will create as much energy as it consumes, and will one of the largest energy-neutral buildings in the country, the university said.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP designed the plan for the campus that will connect with the city and Roosevelt Island via a pedestrian walkway, feature public open spaces and buildings that connect outdoor and indoor spaces. Construction is planned to begin in 2014 with phase one expected to be completed in 2017. Aside from the academic building, the first phase will include a corporate co-location building, an executive education center with hotel facilities, a residential building for students, faculty, and staff, as well as more than one acre of public open space. The campus will continue to take shape over the next 25 years and is scheduled to be finished by 2037.

With construction ongoing, the university will operate in a temporary space donated by Google in Chelsea.