Mayor Adams and Gov. Hochul are hoping to spark innovation and economic development with a new $1.6 billion life sciences and education hub in Manhattan.
The pair unveiled plans Thursday for a CUNY-centric Science Park and Research Campus, or SPARC, that will expand and redevelop an entire city block as part of Hunter College’s Brookdale Campus in Kips Bay.
“This can be transformative. It can give people the chance to get a good job, a good education and the opportunity to have different health care outcomes,” Hochul said during a joint announcement on the current Brookdale campus. “We have a need, we have the demand, we have the young people in communities, particularly those that have been hardest hit (by the COVID pandemic).
“If we can make that connection to get them into the doors to get the training, there’s no stopping us,” she added.
The 5-acre site near First Ave. and 25th St. will be anchored by new facilities for over 4,500 students from the Hunter School of Nursing and School of Health Professions, the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and other health care programs.
The project will be funded jointly by the city and state with additional private investment, according to the governor’s office.
Construction is expected to begin in 2026 and the project could be completed by the end of 2031.
The massive redevelopment plan will include 1.5 million square feet of academic, public health, and life sciences space and a rebuilt pedestrian bridge on East 25th St. connecting the campus to the East River and Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.
Adams touted the project as boon for the city, saying it could generate approximately $25 billion in economic impact over three decades and create more than 10,000 jobs.
“Life science is one of the biggest industries on the globe and expanding every day,” the mayor said. “This is real workforce development.”
Noting that the site was initially planned to be a Sanitation Department facility, Adams added that project will be an anchor for the neighborhood.
“We took trash and turned it into treasure,” he said. “We’re going to have everything from labs, office spaces, classrooms, business incubators, all the pieces we need, as well as open space for the neighborhood. This is going to revitalize the entire area.”
The new site will also house a forensic pathology center run by the city medical examiner’s office, a public high school and an ambulatory care center for NYC Health + Hospitals.
Hochul commended Adams for making the project a priority for his administration.
“He had this vision, and our teams working together were able to break through decades of roadblocks and hurdles that needed just the commitment, the ability to get things done and just roll up the sleeves and work together,” she said. “What a radical idea: city and state working together, how about that?”