Can Brooklyn Boosters Help NYU Win the Bid to Build the Engineering Campus?

Just because the five schools still bidding on a chance to build an applied sciences campus in New York are forbidden from speaking publicly about their proposals during the evaluation process doesn’t mean their supporters can’t pipe up.

In November, Mayor Bloomberg bounced two of the seven contenders for a $100 million grant to build on city land out of the competition for failing to meet the criteria. After knocking out India’s Amity University and a consortium of local groups that included New York Genome Center, Mount Sinai medical school, Rockefeller University and SUNY Stony Brook were knocked out, Mayor Bloomberg told the Daily News, “If they want to do something that’s maybe nice to have but doesn’t create jobs, that’s not part of this program.”

That might explain why NYU backers aren’t taking chances with its proposal to transform the MTA’s abandoned headquarters on Jay St. into the Center of Urban Sciences and Progress.

Starting today, boosters who want to see downtown Brooklyn developed are rolling out an ad campaign called “Get smart. Go Brooklyn” to bring what the Daily News insists on calling the “genius school” to their neighborhood.

“This property has been a blight on downtown Brooklyn for over a decade,” said Michael Burke of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, which is paying for the ads along with the DUMBO Business Improvement District. “We have this terrific new proposal from NYU to turn it into something amazing.”

Although the Mayor has opened up the possibility of picking two proposals, if the city is voting on job creation alone, NYU’s 200,000 sq. ft. space might be no match for, say, Stanford’s 1.9-million-square-foot proposal on the more isolated Roosevelt Island. On the other hand, NYU is only asking for a $20 to $25 million, a fraction of the funds. The decision is supposed to come down in January. In the meantime, Kings County is preparing for a fight.

“Brooklyn not seizing this chance? Fuhgeddaboudit!” said Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Hrmm. Maybe they’d do better by the Brooklyn cause by not using phrases popularized by television shows about New Jersey mobsters. Can Brooklyn Boosters Help NYU Win the Bid to Build the Engineering Campus?