The city unveiled Stony Brook University as the winning operator of an expansive environmental research center on Governors Island, which promises to transform the island’s undeveloped south end with a full-scale campus, to include a hotel, laboratories and student housing.
The project, known as the New York Climate Exchange, was facilitated by the city’s 2021 rezoning of Governors Island. After announcing three finalists in the fall of 2022, Mayor Eric Adams today picked Stony Brook’s $700 million proposal, which will span 400,000 square feet.
Construction will run from 2025 to 2028 on the campus, which will include two classroom and research buildings made of climate-friendly mass timber. Stony Brook will renovate two former military buildings to open up 170,000 square feet of space, the mayor’s office said.
The climate center’s $700 million price tag will include $150 million in already-allocated city funding, $100 million from the nonprofit Simons Foundation and $50 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The remaining costs will be raised by a 15-member consortium announced today, which includes the Georgia Institute of Technology, Pace University, the Boston Consulting Group and IBM.
Students already enrolled at institutions in that consortium will be able to enroll in a “climate solutions semester abroad” at the new facility, which will offer job training and college-level environmental coursework to New Yorkers at free or low cost, the city said.
Research and educational programs at the complex will focus on sustainable and resilient cities; the use of food, water and energy on climate change; and environmental justice and inclusion.
The new campus will generate 100% of its energy on-site and divert 95% of its waste from landfills, officials said. As part of the project, the trust will begin operating more frequent ferry service from Manhattan, running every 15 minutes—half of current headways.
The trust, whose board includes leaders of the real estate firms MSquared and Dune Real Estate Partners, has said that development on the island’s south side could generate $80 million annually by 2050 in tax and lease revenues. It is only then that the island could become self-sufficient and wean itself off its substantial city subsidy, which now totals around $15 million. You can read more here.
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