First they took Manhattan... then they take Downtown Brooklyn? Since NYU lost out in Mayor Bloomberg's high-tech campus contest to Cornell, the Downtown dominator is now hoping for the city will give it a consolation prize of free real estate in the borough of churches. But, god bless it, the cash-strapped MTA—which happens to lease the land NYU wants from the city—isn't about to just walk away empty handed.
Basically NYU is proposing it take over 370 Jay Street and turn it into a Center for Urban Sciences and Progress. The building would add to NYU's land in Brooklyn, which was already bolstered when it merged with Poly in 2007. NYU's plan certainly has a fair share of supporters (Senator Gilibrand is all for it) but one holdup is apparently new MTA chief Joe Lhota who, when asked about the plan previously said: "We’ll work with the city on that and be able to move forward to allow the NYU project to go in. I cannot be in a position of subsidizing NYU. But I will be in a position to be able to help."
According to sources NYU thinks it could build out the building with $20 million of city money, but the MTA—which has mostly left the building but still houses communications equipment in it—says it needs anywhere from $30-60 million to leave the premises. So before anything happens that money is going to have to be found and it remains unclear how much money the city is willing to kick in. Folks seem to think it'll happen though.
As State Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Downtown Brooklyn) put it, "Chairman Lhota expressed a real willingness by the MTA to make this work. The communications equipment is a challenge but one that can be easily overcome if the agencies work together. The MTA being ready to go is a huge step forward for this proposal."
Sigh. Because what New York really needs is more NYU, right? What ever happened to Carnegie Mellon's idea of opening a satellite school in the Brooklyn Navy Yard?