Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced plans to build a $1.6 billion life sciences hub in Manhattan, advancing the city's long-standing priority to becoming a global leader in the field.

"This is where we'll invent new vaccines, cure chronic disease, and unlock the knowledge that will help millions of people to live longer, stronger, and healthier lives," Adams said at a joint news conference with Hochul on Thursday.

The 1.5 million-square-foot hub, dubbed Science Park and Research Campus Kips Bay, will take up a city block and be built on the existing Hunter College Brookdale Health Science Center under the CUNY system. It represents Adams' largest economic development project to date.

It's expected to serve as an academic and job pipeline for the growing life sciences sector, which both the city and state have attempted to gain a foothold in for years. That goal for such a facility was made even more pressing after the pandemic hit New York City, prompting lawmakers to examine what tools it has to manage a similar crisis in the future.

In remarks, CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez said the life science center will be anchored by the Hunter School of Nursing and CUNY's School of Health Professions, a life sciences lab, simulation classrooms, and certification courses. A public high school devoted to the life sciences will also be housed at the hub, according to Matos Rodriguez. The campus — which won't be built until 2031 — would join established health care facilities in the neighborhood, including NYU Langone Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital, and the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences.

Life science had remained a priority under prior administrations, notably that of former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who committed $1 billion in investments in the life sciences sector, including money toward an applied sciences center. But then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched his own separate initiative, committing $650 million toward the sector. The two proposals, however, never merged.

At the announcement, Hochul credited the mayor's outgoing chief of staff Frank Carone and her secretary Karen Persichilli Keogh for holding various meetings to get the project off the ground.

"We're 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," Hochul said. "What a radical idea — city and state working together."