Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Update From Cornell NYC Tech On Roosevelt Island Land Use and Rezoning Issues Discussed Last Night At Community Board 8 Task Force Meeting - Here's What Happened

Image  of preliminary Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech Campus From You Tube Video

Community Board 8's (CPB 8) Roosevelt Island Task Force met last night at Roosevelt Island's Seniors Center to hear an update by Cornell University regarding the new Cornell Technion Applied Sciences and Engineering school to be built on Roosevelt Island's Goldwater Hospital campus. Representing Cornell University were Vice President Cathy Dove (a new Roosevelt Island resident) and real estate land use attorney Melanie Myers from the law firm of Fried Frank.

Ms. Dove briefly reviewed the project's history and scope of project. Ms. Dove explained that the first phase of Cornell's Roosevelt Island campus will open in 2017 with a 150,000 square foot academic building and a 150,000 square foot partner R & D building for emerging companies. Ms. Dove also said that Cornell hopes to have completed two additional buildings by 2017 - a residence hall of apartments and an academic conference hotel. Ms Dove then introduced attorney Ms. Myers to discuss rezoning changes and land use issues for the perimeter

of the current Goldwater Hospital campus and the future Cornell Technion NYC Tech Campus. According to Curbed:
... Cornell offered a few unfolding details about the plan, like a desire to widen the island's occasionally narrow loop road to a width of 32 feet and include bike lanes. The school will also be seeking a zoning change that won't affect the density of Cornell's building plans, but will allow research labs to be incorporated into the buildings. Residents had a lot of concerns related to the imminent transformation of the southern half of the island. A blanket answer that could be applied to all questions was that "everything would be looked into; all things were a possibility; and nothing was being ruled out at this time."...
I took video of most of the meeting. Here's how it began with Ms. Dove's introduction and Ms. Meyers explanation of land use issues (Part 1 of 5)

You Tube Video of Cornell NYC Tech Update (Part 2 of 5)

Question from Roosevelt Island residents and Community Board members followed. Will have video of that later today or tomorrow as an update.

I asked Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz for comment on Cornell's presentation update. Mr. Katz replied:
I was happy to see the large turnout to meet with Cornell and Community Board 8 to discuss the City's land use and environmental requirements.  I thought the questions posed by my neighbors were excellent and addressed many of the concerns Islanders have regarding our expectations for the construction period as well as the relationship between town and gown.  I asked when we might meet with representatives of Technion, Cornell's partner in the graduate facility, and really didn't get an answer. That facet of the relationship may need to wait until the campus is a going
More on Cornell's plans for Roosevelt Island campus available at previous post.

UPDATE 8/2 -  Audience Question and Answers followed regarding on site parking, use of barges and air quality monitors during Goldwater demolition and campus construction, conveyance of RIOC controlled land to Cornell, status of Goldwater patients, what will be done in the research laboratories, waste removal, sustainable energy, open space and access to the campus for the community as well as other issues.

You Tube Video of Cornell NYC Tech Update (Part 3 of 5)

More Q and A from the meeting will be posted soon.


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