New York City, State to Partner on $1.6B Science and Research Park in Kips Bay
Real Estate In-Depth | October 14, 2022
NEW YORK—Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams jointly announced on Oct. 13 the launch of a $1.6-billion public-private partnership with The City University of New York to build a new science and research park at Hunter College’s Brookdale Campus on East 25th Street and First Avenue in the Kips Bay section of Manhattan.
New York City and state officials noted that “SPARC Kips Bay” will generate approximately $25 billion in economic impact to the city over the next 30 years; create 10,000 jobs, including 2,000 permanent jobs; and transform the Brookdale Campus into new, state-of-the-art teaching and commercial facilities. This project will impact an entire city block with more than 1.5 million square feet of academic, public health, and life sciences space, more than doubling the life sciences footprint in Kips Bay. The project would also rebuild a new accessible pedestrian bridge on East 25th Street connecting to the East River and Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.
The city estimates the project will create about 2,000 good-paying, quality jobs just in the campus’ new commercial lab space, which will attract new companies and startups, leading to additional good-paying jobs in the health care and life sciences fields. Construction of the campus will create an additional 8,000 construction jobs.
“This new Science Park and Research Campus in Kips Bay will be not only a hub for the life sciences industry and an anchor for the neighborhood, but also a bridge to the future for our city’s young people,” said Mayor Adams. “SPARC Kips Bay will transform an entire city block into a state-of-the-art destination for the life sciences industry and be a place where workforce development, economic opportunity, and public health come together seamlessly—attracting businesses and uplifting New Yorkers to bring our city back stronger than ever with $25 billion in new economic activity for our city over the next three decades. Thank you to all our partners for the vision and teamwork to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”
“Thanks to this agreement with the city, SPARC Kips Bay will give New York’s life sciences sector a major boost, creating thousands of high-paying jobs, investing in education, and making New York the place where miracles are made,” Gov. Hochul said. “My administration remains laser-focused on saving lives and making New York the home of the transformative fields of the future, and with this project, we will achieve both of these goals at the same time.”
SPARC Kips Bay will cultivate the next generation of the scientific research and health care workforce, creating a single campus with space for the New York City Department of Education, CUNY, health and biotech companies, and public health institutions—providing pathways to good-paying careers for New York City high school, undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Career opportunities will range from doctors and nurses to biochemists and engineers, as well as a variety of supporting roles in the life sciences and health care fields, like business managers, lawyers, and administrative assistants. With the development of new talent will come new research, translating to more companies, jobs, medicines, and advanced technologies, which will ensure New York City remains the leader in developing treatments and cures for some of the most pressing public health challenges of the time.
Additionally, SPARC Kips Bay will be critical in building a more dynamic and resilient New York City economy. New York City’s health care sector employs more than 750,000 New Yorkers, and the metropolitan area’s life sciences sector is a rapidly growing industry with nearly 150,000 additional jobs last year.
SPARC Kips Bay will be funded jointly by the city and state with additional investment from the private sector in life sciences. SPARC Kips Bay is expected to break ground in 2026 and be completed by the end of 2031. The announcement did not include any development firm connected with the project.
SPARC Kips Bay will be anchored by new, modern facilities for more than 4,500 students from the Hunter College School of Nursing and School of Health Professions, the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s multiple health care programs. The hub will also feature:
• An H+H/Bellevue ambulatory care center that will offer screenings, same-day procedures, diagnostics, and preventive care;
• An H+H simulation training center that will allow CUNY students and others to simulate patient scenarios, utilizing mock operating rooms and labor and delivery rooms;
• A DOE high school providing hands-on learning in health care and sciences to prepare students for careers in these growing sectors;
• A new Office of Chief Medical Examiner Forensic Pathology Center, which will be a nation-leading training facility for forensic pathologists, with a 24/7, year-round operational schedule; and
• A new commercial office and wet lab development for the life sciences industry.
Over the next year, the city and NYCEDC—working alongside the state and CUNY—will lead a master planning process that will result in a conceptual site plan that will identify the site’s infrastructure needs, open space and urban design, and potential zoning and other entitlement changes needed to implement the project. The planning process will be informed by community engagement and subject matter experts, and supported by the architectural, urban planning, and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.