Silicon Alley U
Silicon Alley U
Back in the Spring, The Observer traveled to Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where Doug Steiner is working on building the biggest movie studio outside of Hollywood. Part of that plan is building a new media-tech campus, including a new grad school for Brooklyn College’s film program that is already under construction in old radio building at the foot of Washington Avenue.
The marquee feature is a 20 acre satellite for Carnegie Mellon University, to be located on the site of a former naval hospital. On Friday, The Times revealed both a rendering of the project and the fact that the city and Steiner Studios were close to a deal for redeveloping the property.
After they came after our hummus, it was only a time before they came for our mobile app engineers.
Anti-Israeli groups set on depriving New York of two of its most important commodities have moved on from the dowdy old Park Slope Food Co-op to the shiny new Roosevelt Island tech campus. What do both have in common? A commitment to the environment and Israeli imports. Curbed has spotted a new group, New Yorkers Against Cornell-Technion, dead set on stopping the new tech campus, Mayor Bloomberg’s biggest achievement since the smoking ban, because of the affiliations of Cornell’s lesser-known (on these shores) partner.
According to the New Yorkers Against Cornell-Technion’s website, Technion is complicit in every nefarious Israeli deed from the settlements to circumcision.
Silicon Alley U
Imagine, if you will, the landscape of New York City 15 years hence. A drive to Citi Field in Willets Point takes you past a pleasant if overpriced cluster of residential buildings, rather than seedy chop-shops. Roosevelt Island is home to a sprawling $2 billion applied-sciences campus spinning out an army of developers to populate ping-pong-table-clad start-up clusters from Dumbo to Union Square. On Manhattan’s far West Side, the rezoned stretch of Hudson Yards offers millions of square feet for office space, housing and retail and 14 acres of open public space. You can already see traces of a more built-up, scrubbed-down New York in Luna Park’s freshly-painted Scream Zone, the first new roller-coasters Coney Island has seen in 80 years, and the rapidly-metastasizing arena at Atlantic Yards, which will soon play home court to the rebranded Brooklyn Nets.
It’s hardly a scenario Seth Pinsky could have imagined in September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed just seven months into his tenure as president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a not-for-profit arm of the Mayor’s office charged with fostering economic growth across the five boroughs.
At the time, Mr. Pinsky was a 36-year-old former lawyer and investment analyst, only a few years removed from a private sector gig refinancing real estate deals for the big banks as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb. He had one big win under his belt—jump-starting the World Trade Center redevelopment project—but he didn’t have “a political bone in his body,” as one insider put it. “People kept saying to me, ‘Wow, you’re the head of the Economic Development Corporation? We’re in an economic meltdown!’’ Mr. Pinsky told The Observer.
“At the time it meant, ‘You must be really crazy.’”
The innovation offered by a new tech campus on Roosevelt Island is not limited to New York’s technology sector but the design one, as well. Almost every bid had soaring renderings and flashy flythroughs, most notably the winning entry from Cornell. Now the upstate university has announced six of the world’s top firms, including a few local favorites, are in the running to design the new tech campus.
Cornell University and its partner, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, have won a highly competitive, global competition to develop a 21st-century engineering school on Roosevelt Island. But that’s not the only good news to emerge from Mayor Bloomberg’s visionary plan to transform the city into a hub of 21st-, and 22nd-, century technology.
Along with details of Cornell-Technion’s winning bid, the mayor announced that, in essence, he’s not done yet.