Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tell The Mayor and EDC That You Want Roosevelt Island To Become Silicon Island, the Site For NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School Says Council Member Lappin & Assembly Member Kellner - One NYC Venture Capitalist Thinks Roosevelt Island Is An Idiotic Choice For School

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island as Silicon Island

New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin and Assembly Member Micah Kellner, together with Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz and others, held a press conference yesterday morning on the steps of City Hall announcing their support for Roosevelt Island to be selected as the site of Mayor Bloomberg's proposed New York City Applied Sciences & Engineering School and a new media campaign to demonstrate that support.

Ms. Lappin announced in a subsequent email:
I want Roosevelt Island to become Silicon Island. So I’ve launched a new media campaign to help make that happen. And I need your help.

As you may know, Mayor Mike Bloomberg has solicited bids to build an engineering and applied sciences campus in New York City. The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is currently reviewing seven offers. But only two of the applicants, Cornell and Stanford Universities, want to build this campus on Roosevelt Island.

The Island is accessible by train and tram, has housing, world-class parks, and other great amenities. It’s the perfect fit for any world-class university and a logical place to put this project.

Join my Facebook, Twitter and Email campaign to tell the EDC what you think – and to urge them to select a bidder that will build on the Island. Here's how:

Facebook: Visit and write “Pick RI” on wall
Twitter: Tweet @AppSciNyc and include the hastag #PickRI
Email: To or and
include “Pick RI” in subject line
***NOTE (The email address is having some technical issues at the moment, which should be resolved soon)
What are the other sites and schools being considered for NYC Applied Sciences & Engineering School? According to this October 31 Press Release from Mayor Bloomberg's office:
... The responses to the Applied Science NYC Request for Proposals were from the following institutions and for the following sites:

Amity University (Governor’s Island)
Carnegie Mellon University/Steiner Studios (Brooklyn Navy Yard)
Columbia University (Manhattanville)
Cornell University/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Roosevelt Island)
New York University/University of Toronto/University of Warwick (UK)/The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay/City University of New York and Carnegie Mellon (Downtown Brooklyn)
New York Genome Center/Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Rockefeller University/SUNY Stony Brook (Midtown Manhattan)
Stanford University/City College of New York (Roosevelt Island...)
Stanford and Cornell certainly agree with those assembled at yesterday's City Hall Steps Press Conference that Roosevelt Island is a great location for the Applied Sciences & Engineering school but a leading New York City Venture Capitalist disagrees. On his excellent blog A VC, Fred Wilson had this to say:
the location on roosevelt island is idiotic. it will be isolated and marginalized.

downtown brooklyn, on the other hand, is already vibrant, well served by mass transit, and the borough of brooklyn is the desired place to live for most young people in NYC these days.
Its not anywhere near the tech community in NYC
In response to whether west coast venture capitalist would follow Stanford to NYC, Mr. Wilson wrote:
i highly doubt anyone from silicon valley will follow stanford to NYC. for one, they are already here. top silicon valley firms have invested in about a half dozen of our NYC based portfolio companies in the past year.

and sadly, i think the choice of roosevelt island is not smart. stanford benefits from being right on El Camino Real, the hub of Silicon Valley.

that hub in NYC is Broadway from 34th street down to City Hall then across the Brooklyn Bridge to Dumbo and into downtown Brooklyn.

to recreate the magic that Stanford has in the bay area, you would want to put a new engineering school in downtown manhattan or downtown brooklyn
Mr. Wilson does not seem to be aware that Stanford and Cornell want to be on Roosevelt Island precisely because of it's beautiful waterfront 10 acre campus setting and close proximity to the NY Tech community. Broadway and 34th street is less than 15 minutes away on the F train and Dumbo less than 30 minutes.

So remember:
Below is the Press Release from Ms. Lappin's office supporting Roosevelt Island becoming Silicon Island:
Councilwoman Jessica Lappin wants Roosevelt Island to become Silicon Island. And she's taking her appeal online by launching a Facebook, Twitter, and email campaign.

Lappin is asking Roosevelt Island residents in her district, and other interested New Yorkers, to tell Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to choose a plan that would build the high-tech campus on Roosevelt Island. They can do that in three ways: 1) by visiting the AppSciNYC Facebook page and writing ‘Pick RI’ on the wall; 2) by tweeting @AppSciNYC, with the hashtag #PickRI; 3) and/or by emailing with a note in support of the RI location. Lappin is also using her own Facebook page, Twitter account, and email lists to spread the word about the campaign.

The EDC is currently reviewing seven applications from seventeen top-tier academic institutions responding to the city’s Request for Proposals (RFP), and is expected to choose a winner in the next few months. Universities had the option of a privately-owned site or one of three city-owned parcels, including Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island. Only two applications—one from Cornell University/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the other from Stanford University/City College of New York—selected Roosevelt Island as the location of its campus.

“Roosevelt Island is a world-class community and the perfect fit for a world-class applied sciences campus,” Lappin said. “We have housing, parks, shops, and unparalleled views. Not to mention, we have a subway stop, bus lines - even a tram. We want Mayor Bloomberg to know we want this campus here."

“There is no question that the Goldwater Hospital site is the perfect location for the new applied sciences campus,” said Assembly Member Micah Kellner. “Whether it is transportation options, housing, or a vibrant and diverse population, Roosevelt Island has it all. I hope everyone reaches out to the Mayor and the EDC to let them know how much this community has to offer.”

"Roosevelt Island is undoubtedly the best location in New York City for a high-tech applied sciences campus," said Senator Serrano. “New York City has always attracted a great wealth of talent from all over the world, and the Island’s accessibility to the heart of Manhattan and its supportive residents make it the perfect place for an institution of higher learning. Roosevelt Island has grown a great deal over the years and, without a doubt, having a world-class academic campus will be a great addition to an already flourishing community."

Leslie Torres, president and CEO of RIOC, said, "Roosevelt Island is the best location in NYC for a high-tech applied sciences campus. We offer great access and proximity to Queens and Manhattan, and have the space and infrastructure necessary to get this project off the ground quickly. It is estimated that the new campus could generate $6 billion dollars in economic activity over the next 35 years, along with more than 30,000 permanent and construction jobs for New Yorkers. With that dramatic impact in mind, I urge all residents to support Councilwoman Lappin's efforts to bring a high-tech campus to Roosevelt Island."
and a letter from RIRA President Matt Katz to the NYC Economic and Development Corp. President Seth Pinsky.
Dear Mr. Pinsky and the EDC:

My name is Matthew Katz and I represent the Roosevelt Island community as President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA). Currently, I am half-way through my fourth two-year term.

I have been a part of the discussion of and planning for a potential research facility here for the better part of a year. We have met with the project principles from Stanford and Cornell Universities on multiple occasions and, frankly, we are thrilled with the opportunities the venture may provide this community of 12,000 people. Both schools have made it apparent that they see the benefits of joining this planned community, founded in the late 60s on the premise of innovation, and we look forward to working with the eventual winner.

To that end, my organization is creating a Community Benefit Association (CBA) to represent the interests of the many Island organizations and stakeholders whose voices need to be heard. I wish to add my voice to the many Islanders’ voices that will be expressed over the coming weeks in favor of utilizing our home for this purpose. I see it as a win-win proposition and the very best use of that soon-to-be-vacated 10-acre site. We wish you wisdom in your deliberations.

Best wishes,

Matthew Katz, President

Roosevelt Island Residents Association


Ratso123 said...

Maybe Mr. Wilson visited on one of the last 3 weekends and either had trouble getting here or leaving here.  The promise of a walking bridge to Manhattan and/or a ferry is wishful thinking.  I think that the politicians and residents supporting this research center need to realize that the transportation to and from Roosevelt Island is simply not world class.

bartonfinck said...

I would like to see a vote from all the almost 14,000.00 residents that live here and how they feel about living on a college campus. I like your questions, and saw Ms. Tores look at you when you were asking them...I know that RIOC is salivating about the 100 and some odd million that would come with this...they could bail themselves out of a lot of the extra Tram issues, finish fixing the Church Plaza and give themselve a fat juicy raise..I would hope it would go to helping the children on the island, as far as the shool that is over croweded, upgrade a lot of the property on the school, make additions, buy more Red buses which will be needed, provide a save and clean area free of drug dealers on the island, put the security cameras that were promised last year, finish the bathrooms at the trams, enclose the tram waiting areas, upgrade the tram stations, and provide training for the PSD to become a full fledge police force!  yes, in a perfect world, those are a few things the millions could go to.

Westviewer said...

I will be very disappointed, but not surprised, if Roosevelt Island does not get the nod.

Sal Morabito said...

i hope that occupy wallstreet comes to  this island  and stays here for years , because what  is going on on this island is what they are protesting about. people who have lived in eastwood for over 25 years have been forced to move .rioc allowed the owner of eastwood to place 870 apartments into the market rent or should i say the unfair market rent and only 130 apartments into rent stabilization. what a middle class  working people were and are still being forced to lose their apartments and rioc and that useless  rira doses nothing to help these people from losing their apartments .shame.see most of the good  hard working people who were living in eastwood before the buy out are no longer here .they were forced to move due to the 870 apartments that were allowed to go to market rent.please occupy come to roosevelt island,

CheshireKitty said...

I think the quiet and solitude of RI is an ideal environment for a campus.  Is Stanford University in the middle of a teeming metropolis like LA or NY?  Is Cornell University engineering school in the middle of a large city?  Some of the greatest discoveries and insights have been achieved on university campuses that were quiet and somewhat insulated from the noise and unending distractions of city life.  Later the discoveries are "commercialized" or "monetized" in businesses. 

Yet, RI is not miles away from the excitement/stimulation of NYC - it's exactly 4 minutes away by tram.  A student or scientific investigator on RI can work on a problem in peace and quiet for several hours, then take a meditative walk to Southpoint Park - perhaps the vista of the East River, with the UN and the 4 Freedoms Park might provide an intellectual respite or inspiration, even.  The student could then continue his quiet walk along the cherry-tree lined river walk back to campus, then catch the train or tram and be in the middle of Manhattan for a meal at an interesting restaurant or to meet friends.  

Alternatively, he could be in Williamburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick/Dumbo/Park Slope in minutes or at the most within an hour if he had a car parked in Motorgate - without having to go through the City.  Or, if he wished to, he could also hop on a bike and pedal throughout the City on the ever-increasing bike paths.  Within walking distance of the RI bridge are Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park - are there any hipper cultural spots than those?  Astoria Park, a little further north along the Queens shore, offers stupendous views of the E. River, Manhattan, the Connector Bridge etc.  All of NW Queens is so interesting and teeming with interesting restaurants and cultural venues.  And all this is easily accessible, *besides* the practically innumerable  cultural/educational opportunities that are also found in Manhattan.

I disagree with the mogul that RI is too peripheral a location for a university campus.  I think the spot is uniquely perfect for a college campus - beautifully located, precisely in the middle of a dynamic and exciting city.  

Westviewer said...

I agree with you completely!

mogensjp said...

I think the best we can hope for is that RIOC will learn to be better prepared and anticipate delays and "unforeseen circumstances",such as colder weather in November.

If Roosevelt Island wish to host a world class campus
RIOC will not be able to continue temporary solutions
for bottlenecks, such as "parking needs" for Southtown

PeaceandPlenty said...

Do you recall when we did have college facilities here?  Many years ago?  The students were lovely and gave the community a nice boost.  I think it might just have been for a summer or so, but it was good to see hardworking young people doing something positive.

What would you like to be put there instead of a college?  I wonder what ideas you might have that would benefit the community and keep it to your liking.  I'm also wondering about some of the ideas you mention in your post, like providing training for the PSD to become police officers...some of your ideas are not possible, nor based on reality.  And some are erroneous, i.e., implying the church plaza not being finished is a result of lack of funding, when the delays are not related to funding.