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Bigger Feather In Cap For Downtown Brooklyn And Beyond: NYU Tandon Invests A Billion To Expand

December 1, 2022 Mary Frost
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On Wednesday, New York University and Brooklyn officials celebrated NYU’s purchase of 3 MetroTech Center, a 10-story, 350,000-sq-ft building adjacent to NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. in Downtown Brooklyn.

NYU President Andrew Hamilton said at a press conference that the building’s purchase is part of the ongoing $1 billion investment to grow and modernize NYU Tandon’s campus, fuel research and recruit 40 new full-time tenure-track faculty.

NYU aims to propel Tandon into the next level of internationally-recognized engineering institutions by funding basic and applied research in “key interdisciplinary areas of global import,” Hamilton said. These include secure wireless ecosystems and supply chains, health engineering, sustainable engineering and data science to improve the human condition.

NYU Tandon’s Dean Jelena Kovačević said the investment would increase the global reach of both NYU Tandon and Brooklyn.

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“From the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, NYU Tandon and its predecessors have made, and will continue to make, a global impact through research, alumni and education—from sensors deployed to monitor and protect urban environments to biosensors designed to detect health threats, manufactured in the only nanofabrication cleanroom in Brooklyn,” Kovačević said.

NYU Tandon’s Dean Jelena Kovačević said the investment would increase the global reach of both NYU Tandon and Brooklyn.
Photo courtesy of NYU Tandon

Kovačević added that the investment would “further expand opportunities to reach across global borders and disciplines to address the pressing challenges of our time.”

Wednesday’s event was attended by faculty and administration, city officials and Chandrika Tandon, chair of the board of the Tandon School of Engineering.

Tandon and her husband Ranjan Tandon donated $100 million in 2015 to what was at that time called NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. NYU had merged with the former Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 2014.

As part of a bequest in 1999, the estates of Brooklyn Heights residents Donald and Mildred Othmer provided $190 million to Polytechnic, where Donald Othmer taught for roughly six decades.

Purchased building from Chase

NYU had announced on Sept. 16 of this year that it had purchased 3 MetroTech from JP Morgan Chase. (According to ACRIS, the deed was transferred in August.) Chase employees moved to 4 MetroTech Center more than two years ago, NYU said in September.

Planning for the specific uses for 3 MetroTech is in its “earliest stages,” NYU said, but will build on additional plans for renovating 6 MetroTech—Rogers Hall—and lab spaces in the medical corridor in Manhattan.

Across the street from its MetroTech campus, NYU also owns 370 Jay St., formerly occupied by the Transit Authority, which NYU bought from the city in 2012. Currently only partially renovated, the building is occupied by the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and media facilities.

Brooklyn officials applaud NYU’s investment

“On behalf of Brooklyn, we’re so proud to be NYU Tandon’s home and the site of the school’s expanding reach to inspire more and more people to do good,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

“We are fortunate to have this premier academic institution conducting groundbreaking research and engineering right here in Downtown Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “Not only will this investment bring new jobs to the area, but it will help NYU tackle complex global problems from climate change to public health issues to cybersecurity.”

“Downtown Brooklyn is a national hub of higher education and innovation. It’s exciting to see NYU Tandon School of Engineering permanently expand its footprint to help Brooklyn lead in solving the greatest challenges of our day,” said Downtown Brooklyn’s Councilmember Lincoln Restler.

“We applaud NYU’s continued and significant investment in NYU Tandon School of Engineering – signifying Downtown Brooklyn as an important NYU campus and as a center for education, innovation, and research of global significance” said Regina Myer, president of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Other officials applauding the investment included state Senator Andrew Gounardes; NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball; Randy Peers, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Rudy Wynter, President of National Grid, NY and Callie Haines, Executive Vice President, Brookfield Properties.

Other plans for expanding NYU Tandon’s international reach in Brooklyn are also in the works. In September, NYU cemented a partnership with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at an event that included city officials and a visit to Brooklyn by South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol. The event also included the signing of a cooperation agreement with the City of New York by the KAIST delegation. The NYU-KAIST offices will be located at One Metrotech Center, and a similar office will be located on the KAIST campus in South Korea.

NYU says the school has seen a 170 percent and 87 percent increase in undergraduate and graduate applications over the last five years.

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