Posted by Leonard Steinberg on July 19, 2011
In another strong attempt to spur business growth in the New York area, forward thinking (not-focused-on-re-election) Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced details today of a request for “universities near and far” to submit proposals to build or expand a science and engineering campus in the city—a project he called “one of the most promising economic development initiatives in the city’s long history.”
The mayor said a 1 million-square-foot applied science campus could spin off some 400 new companies and create more than 7,000 construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs in its first 35 years. Some $6 billion in economic activity could be generated, resulting in roughly $1.2 billion in new tax revenues added to city coffers. Not to mention what it could do for real estate values…..think Silicon Valley….
“During the 1980s and 90s, Silicon Valley—not New York—became the world capital of technology startups, and that is still true today,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “But if I am right, and we succeed in this mission, it won’t be true forever.”
The city is offering real estate on Governors Island, Roosevelt Island or at the Brooklyn Navy Yard at virtually zero cost, and is pledging up to $100 million in infrastructure upgrades. It expects that contribution to be “matched several times over” by the winner or winners. Sources say the city could end up selecting two separate projects, and that Roosevelt Island is attracting the most interest, followed by the Navy Yard.
All politicians should learn from this: while the plan may not be perfect, this is a perfect example of government actually working. If this dream pans out it could truly revolutionize the city, drawing some of the most talented techies to the City, boosting employment, spurring business, and most importantly, help create some new tech-billionaires to buy all the amazing apartments coming to the market over the next few years. Strong tech companies love to position themselves close to the best tech universities producing the freshest talent….. this will certainly boost attendance at the new Mathematics Museum coming to Madison Square Park.
Is it possible two breeds of tech nerds will emerge? The hip ones in New York and the geeky ones in California? New York has transformed many, so why not tech-nerds too?
We love it!