Construction kicked off Tuesday on the $2 billion Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech campus, which many predict will be a feeder of skilled entrepreneurs for the western Queens technology community.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, were both in attendance to support the building of the applied sciences campus, which will span 12 acres on Roosevelt Island and house 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff. The first phase of the campus is expected to open in the summer of 2017.
“Mr. Mayor, you remember a phrase from a great American movie, ‘if you build it, they will come’? I think this epitomizes it,” de Blasio said to his predecessor. “I think Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to create an environment for the tech sector had an extraordinary impact. This is one of the signature elements and we are proud to be building upon that tradition.”
Cornell Tech, which was selected by the city’s Economic Development Corporation over 17 other proposed schools in 2011, has been running out of Google’s Chelsea building since 2013.