Stanford, Cornell Among 15 Universities Seeking to Open a New York Campus

Stanford and Cornell are among 15 universities submitting seven bids to open a science and engineering campus in New York, responding to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s competition to create technology jobs.

Columbia University, New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, Rockefeller University and Amity University of India also entered proposals to the contest, which will grant the winner free city land and as much as $100 million in infrastructure improvements, Bloomberg said today at a Manhattan press conference. Results will be announced in January.

The mayor invited proposals in July for the right to open a “world-class” campus for engineering and applied science, and on Oct. 27 he said he may award multiple winners. The project may generate $6 billion in economic activity with as many as 400 new companies and 22,000 permanent jobs in its first 30 years, Bloomberg said.

“Clearly this has the potential to be a real game changer for this city,” Bloomberg said. “All of the submissions were stronger than anything we could have possibly imagined.”

All the proposals, which total more than 10,000 pages, will be evaluated and “there is no one front runner,” he said.

The city has formed a committee to evaluate the proposals. Members include Charles Vest, the former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University.

‘Bigger Investments’

The committee will consider the project’s ability to create permanent jobs, develop a financially self-sustaining campus and its proposed community relations and partnerships.

Seth Pinsky, president of the city-controlled Economic Development Corp., said the biggest surprise in his first review was “how comprehensive the responses were, as well as the scale, which increased between the first round and the second round in a number of proposals. Schools are looking at even bigger investments than they were talking about before.”

Details of the proposals weren’t made public to protect schools from divulging information they may feel is competitive, Bloomberg said.

Stanford University, near Palo Alto, California, would invest $200 million of institutional money for a campus on Roosevelt Island, one of the sites identified by the city. The college would build the $2.5 billion project over 30 years for more than 200 faculty members and 2,000 graduate students, according to a letter sent Oct. 26 from Stanford President John Hennessy. Stanford teamed with City College of New York, which would host classes starting in 2013 as construction began.

West Harlem Proposal

Cornell University, based in Ithaca, New York, is joining with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. They propose to begin classes in 2012 and expand to 2 million square feet for almost 2,000 students, also on Roosevelt Island, according to an Oct. 18 statement from Cornell.

Columbia is planning an engineering “campus within a campus” at the $7 billion Manhattanville expansion that the university is constructing in West Harlem, according to Feniosky Pena-Mora, the dean of engineering. In 20 years, the university would devote three buildings with 1.1 million square feet and 167 professors to the city project, he said Oct. 27.

New York University is leading a group of institutions including Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the University of Toronto, City University of New York, University of Warwick in the U.K. and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. They are proposing a Center for Urban Science and Research in downtown Brooklyn for more than 500 graduate students, said John Beckman, a spokesman for NYU.

Digital Media Projects

Carnegie Mellon submitted a second proposal with Steiner Studios, a film production studio, for digital media projects at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard.

Rockefeller University in New York submitted a proposal for Manhattan’s West Side with Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Stony Brook University and the New York Genome Center.

Amity University in India submitted a proposal for a campus on Governor’s Island.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Staley in New York at ostaley@bloomberg.net; Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Kaufman at jkaufman17@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.