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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roosevelt Island Cornell Technion NYC Tech Public Scoping Meeting Tonight 6:30 PM - Planned Academic, Incubator, Residential Buildings, Hotel/Conference Center and 250 Parking Spaces In First Phase

Image From You Tube Video

Students at Cornell's Graduate Landscape Architecture, Real Estate and Regional Planning Program came up with this proposal for the Cornell Technion NYC Tech campus on Roosevelt Island Campus.

You Tube Video of Cornell Students Proposed Roosevelt Island Campus

What do you think?

The proposal by the Cornell students will probably not be part of tonight's meeting on the new Roosevelt Island campus. According to the NYC Mayor's Office of Environmental Coordination, a Public Scoping meeting on the Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech project will he held later today:
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT a public scoping meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at the Manhattan Park Community Center, 8 River Road, Roosevelt Island, New York, at 6:30 P.M. The purpose of the scoping meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the draft scope of work proposed to be used to develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed CornellNYC Tech Campus project. Written comments on the draft scope may also be submitted to the address below until 5:00 P.M. Friday, June 8, 2012....
Here's what will be discussed according to this summary of the project from the Draft Scope of Work to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the CornellNYC Tech Project (Page 1-2):
... The first phase of the CornellNYC Tech project, which Cornell University (Cornell)  would undertake in collaboration with Technion – Israel  Institute of Technology, is expected to be constructed and begin operations on Roosevelt Island in Summer 2017; 2018 will be the first full year of operation.

Phase 1 would consist of up to a maximum of 790,000 gross square feet (gsf) of development consisting of approximately 200,000 gsf of academic research space, 300,000 gsf of residential space (442 units), 100,000 gsf of partner research and development space, and 170,000 gsf for an academic-oriented hotel with conference facilities. Up to another 20,000 gsf  would be developed as a central energy plant. Phase 2, expected to be completed by 2037, would add a maximum of 1.34 million gsf consisting  of approximately 420,000 gsf of academic research space, 500,000 gsf of residential space (652 units), 400,000 gsf of partner research and development (R&D) space, and another 20,000 gsf central energy plant. In total, the maximum potential CornellNYC Tech project program is assumed to comprise 2.13 million gsf of development consisting of 620,000 gsf of academic research space, 800,000 gsf of residential space (1,094 units), 500,000 gsf of partner R&D space, 170,000 gsf of an academic-oriented hotel with conference facilities, and 40,000  gsf for the central energy plants. Up to approximately 25,000 gsf of campus-oriented retail would be provided within this program....
and (Page 4):
... parking may be provided for the academic-oriented hotel and conference facilities and for the three partner research and development buildings. It is anticipated that approximately 500 spaces would be provided at the project site, with 250 spaces in Phase 1 and another 250 spaces provided in Phase 2....
and (page 5-6):
... The proposed project would be centered on a new outdoor north-south connection or “spine” that would extend at-grade through the project site. A series of publicly-accessible open spaces would extend from the edge of the site inward to this spine. The proposed buildings would be organized around both the spine and the network of open spaces with the main entries to the buildings located along the north-south spine.

Preliminarily, the project buildings are expected to have approximately the following characteristics:
The academic research buildings would be 8 to 14 stories with the tallest of the three buildings reaching 165 to 185 feet in height. 
The residential buildings would be taller, approximately 15 to 30 stories, with the tallest of the four residential buildings reaching 280 to 320 feet in height. 
The hotel and conference facilities would be 15 stories, or up to 180 feet in height. 
The partner R&D buildings would be 8 to 14 stories with the tallest of the three buildings reaching 165 to 185 feet in height. 
The proposed buildings would be oriented on the project site so that a series of publicly accessible open spaces are created (see “Open Space,” below).

The proposed project would provide approximately 7.5 acres of publicly-accessible open spaces on the project site and would include provision of both active and passive uses.

In addition, the project would provide a bicycle path in the ring road around the project site that would provide connections to the parks south of the site as well as to open space and recreation facilities north of the project site.


The existing ring road would be mapped with a 50 foot right-of-way, which would allow for one travel lane and a parking lane, with a sidewalk adjacent to the project site. As in the existing condition, the road would be one-way clockwise with southbound traffic on the east side of the project site and northbound traffic on the west side. The ring road would provide access to the campus’s loading areas, which would be located primarily on the east side of the project site. Drop off and pick up areas may be provided in front of the hotel and potentially at central locations serving the academic buildings.


The proposed project would incorporate a number of sustainable design measures that would reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions. In addition to meeting all applicable local laws regarding energy, Cornell has agreed to achieve a minimum of LEED® Silver certification for all project buildings. As part of the sustainable design energy measures, to the extent feasible, the proposed project may include the following:
  • On-site energy plants that would total approximately 40,000 gsf. The energy plants would supply power, chilled water, and heat to the campus.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) panels throughout the site (e.g., on the roofs of the proposed buildings and possibly elsewhere on the site). 
  • A system of up to 400 geothermal wells.
Cornell has set a goal to achieve net-zero energy consumption for its Phase 1 academic building. This means that the campus collectively would generate the electricity, heat, and chilled water that would offset the energy use of the Phase 1 academic building on an annual basis.

In addition to energy measures, the proposed project would be planned and designed to achieve
other sustainability targets....
and (Page 3-4):

The proposed actions required to facilitate the proposed project are as follows:
  • Amendment of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC) operating agreement with the City by the Corporation Board in order to surrender a portion of the project site.
  • Disposition of City-owned property from the City of New York to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for a subsequent proposed long-term lease and potential future sale to Cornell.
  • Mayoral approval of the lease and sale terms of the disposition parcels pursuant to Section 384(b)(4) of the New York City Charter.
  • RIOC approval of a modification of the City’s lease with RIOC.
  • Zoning Map amendment to change the project site and surrounding area zoning from R7-2 to C4-5 as shown on Figure 4.
  • Zoning Text amendment to create the Special Southern Roosevelt Island District and to establish special bulk, use, parking and waterfront controls for the rezoning area.
  • City Map Amendment to map the one-way ring road surrounding the project site as a City street
Other potential approvals, such as approvals from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) and New  York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), may also be required. It is also possible that an approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) would be required with respect to a geothermal well system that may be part of the project....
So, if you are interested in the future of Roosevelt Island and the new Cornell Technion NYC Tech School, come to the meeting starting 6:30 PM at the Manhattan Park Community Center (8 River Road)


Anonymous said...

Will matt katz and rira give the o.k. on this. If not it will not get done

Anonymous said...

Matt Katz and RIRA, are u joking?? They have ZERO to do with this. In case u were out of the country for the last few months, this is a done deal!!!

mogensjp said...

I find the paper handed out by the Cornell people at today's meeting to be both comprehensive and informative. It is
well summarized in the above blog, and I find Cornell's ideas
at this early stage both encouraging and promising. 

CheshireKitty said...

Love it! Go Cornell!  

Anonymous said...

Well matt katz has a lot of power on this island. Evertything goes thur matt. And the r.I.r.a.

Anonymous said...

Yes matt runs this island

CheshireKitty said...

This makes sense although it would probably be quite an expensive project even if it is just one station.  However, you are right that now is the time to start planning and budgeting for it.  Why don't you contact the electeds or the CB or the TA to advocate for it?  It would be very cool to have a stop right at the campus - you're right about that.  

YetAnotherRIer said...

Lore is that it is just impossible to retroactively build a subway stop under Roosevelt Island in the 53rd St tunnel. In reality, does it really matter if it possible or not? It will be extremely costly to do so. Who is going to pay for this?

Westviewer said...

I agree, but I still would like to know the details and costs.

Mark Lyon said...

It was my understanding, from things I've seen posted elsewhere, that RI is the lowest point in the tunnel.  A train that stopped there would have difficulty getting back up to speed to climb out.  It's similar to the reason there is no stop on the 7 at the UN - the grade is too steep at that point.

Frank Farance said...

Three points ... #1: A subway stop can be built retroactively.  I've heard wild guesses of $400 million to $1 billion, but none of these were real estimates.

#2: It makes no sense to build a stop on the 53 Street tunnel because the trains and the tracks are at capacity.  A better choice would be the 60 Street tunnel, which is adjacent to the tram and the tracks have capacity.

#3: I am unaware of any "stuck" points in the transit system.  They wouldn't make sense because if a train had to stop, then they couldn't get started again.  In other words, certain sections of track would have MINIMUM speeds, which would probably prohibit crews from working on the tracks (which require MAXIMUM speeds).

bakgwailo said...

 I always though it was funny that we have the E,M, N, Q, R, and F pass under the island, and yet out of the 5 we only get one. First, it is possible to add a station 'retroactively' - our current station was done so not too long ago (in terms of the subway's age). However, there are grade issues in other tunnels - basically, from what I know, the grade currently is too large to support a platform. That is not to say, however, that it can't be regraded or engineered around. As to who would pay for it, I think that is simple: Cornell. They have a large budget and as part of the deal an obligation to improve transit on the island, and, in my mind, this is the only viable option.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"First, it is possible to add a station 'retroactively' - our current station was done so not too long ago (in terms of the subway's age)."

AFAIK, the Roosevelt Island station was not retrofitted into an existing tunnel, though. The tunnel was built with a station for Roosevelt Island in mind.

Westviewer said...

I agree in theory, but I don't know how Cornell would feel about paying for it.  

bakgwailo said...

 Ah, I actually think that is correct. Although, I would only think it would be cheaper to retrofit an existing tunnel than make a completely new one ;) Also note that the 63rd st. tunnel is pretty underused, as it only has the F on it right now, and the lower set of tracks have nothing. Perhaps they will just reroute another line or two onto it.

bakgwailo said...

Yeah, another thing I was thinking was just reusing the existing F station and making another platform for the 59th st tunnel (basically less than a block walk under ground, not as bad as many other stations), but again, that would depend on the feasibility of it. However, supposedly built into the agreement with the city Cornell does have a bunch of money ear marked specifically for transportation upgrades, and being on an island, I would think the most beneficial would be public transit upgrades to the main land. So, technically it shouldn't matter how Cornell feels about it, they bid on the project and won and (at least dollars wise) it is already on the table. That said, I forget the exact amount of money earmarked for transit upgrades, but if I recall it was relatively substantial.

YetAnotherRIer said...

I learned about the unused pair of lower tracks in that tunnel just recently. The plan for the lower level has always been part of the East Side Access project for the LIRR to get into Grand Central, though. I am very sure the MTA will not be able to use it for any subway traffic whatsoever.

Mark Lyon said...

If it were possible to increase the frequency of F trains, though, adding a lower level LIRR platform once the East Side Access Project is complete would be pretty cool - people could transfer to the subway at Roosevelt Island and we'd gain an alternate - though probably a bit more expensive - route that would take us to Grand Central.

It would be similar, I guess, to taking the Metro North from 125th.  Off Peak is $5.00 for that trip.  Could be a welcome option on weekends when the F becomes an E.