Home Brooklyn Rendering of the Day: NYU’s 370 Jay Street

Rendering of the Day: NYU’s 370 Jay Street

by Benjamin Kabak

NYU wants to bring the Center for Urban Science and Progress to 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. (Rendering via NYU and The Real Deal)

As the MTA gears up to offload the long-idle Transit building at 370 Jay St., a familiar player in the New York City real estate market has emerged as a leading contender for the space. As The Daily News reports today, New York University is targeting 370 Jay St. as the future home for its Center for Urban Science and Progress. The plan, which would rely on significant contributions from the city, would help push forward an academic revival in Downtown Brooklyn.

Instead of competing with Stanford and Cornell for space on Roosevelt Island, NYU would prefer to overhaul the MTA’s former headquarters across from its Polytechnic campus. “It would make Brooklyn the urban center of the universe,” NYU Senior Vice Provost for Research Paul Horn said to The News. “There’s nothing anywhere near it on this scale.”

Erin Durkin has more:

Mayor Bloomberg is offering a powerhouse academic institution $100 million in construction costs, plus free land, to open the high-tech school. Horn said NYU would forego the land the city is offering on Roosevelt Island or other sites in favor of downtown Brooklyn. “It’s a terrific entrepreneurial center,” Horn said. “There are a lot of advantages to being there as opposed to isolated somewhere.”

[Horn] said NYU could build the center with $20-$25 million of the city money for infrastructure fixes and moving the MTA’s old equipment out of 370 Jay, and spend $450 million overall on a 200,000-square-foot project. It would launch CUSP in space at nearby MetroTech, with classes starting in 2013, then move into 370 Jay after a major overhaul.

The NYU plan calls for 50 faculty members – from civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science and other fields – would teach 400 master’s students and 100 Ph.D. students at CUSP. “Improving security, dealing with disasters, a variety of problems that are absolutely critical and things the city will be worrying about anyway – this will have our institute focusing on creating solutions to those problems,” Horn said.

NYU has a reputation for utterly consuming neighborhoods it targets. This plan, though, would remove a blight from the streets of Downtown Brooklyn while delivering dollars to the MTA for its abandoned headquarters. The building will be subjected to an RFP process. I doubt, however, that this is the last we’re hearing of NYU’s interest.

You may also like


Mike in Bklyn October 26, 2011 - 5:38 pm

So, is NYU planning to have the MTA re-route the N train via Jay St/Metrotech? 😉

al October 27, 2011 - 1:13 am

The R already goes to Jay St Metrotech and runs near NYU at 8th st. Unless the AM peak R coming into Manhattan from Bklyn is packed like the Queens Blvd Express, I don’t think they will reroute the N. They might get a revived W extended to Bklyn after 2nd ave subway Phase 1 opens (Peak hr only?).

al October 27, 2011 - 1:17 am

P.S. There’s also the fact that the A, C, and F also run at Jay st-Metrotech. All 3 stop at West 4th St, which is also by the NYU campus at Washington Sq Park.

pea-jay October 27, 2011 - 2:23 am

doesnt the N make the R stops late nights already? So in a sense it already serves this station, albeit at a time of day when the lobby illustrated above would be closed and dark.

Al D October 27, 2011 - 9:55 am

No. They have their own bus fleet.

al October 27, 2011 - 1:42 pm

Shizzle, I didn’t know they had a bus fleet. And it comes with a real time bus tracker too!

Check it out!


Scott E October 26, 2011 - 8:02 pm

No opposition from me, as it’s a vast improvement from what’s there now. But I’m getting a bit tired of the all-glass-exterior-facade and the sterile-white-interior look. It’s becoming a bit cookie-cutter like. How about some originality in the design?

JP October 26, 2011 - 8:12 pm

Sorry, no bikes in the lobby.

Brian October 26, 2011 - 8:13 pm

Mike beat me too the N train comment

Alex C October 26, 2011 - 8:20 pm

I like this deal. I don’t suppose NYU can take responsibility of keeping the station clean as part of the deal? Reason I say this is, it’s actually a clean station and the MTA could use to move the personnel to more needed locations.

al October 27, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Jay St already gets a frequent regular scrub and pressure wash treatment. I’m not sure, but I think its paid for by a Metrotech property fee.

Donald October 26, 2011 - 9:25 pm

The fact that NYU has enough money to snap up so much real estate just goes to show how overpriced college tuition has become.

Phil October 26, 2011 - 9:36 pm

Can’t be worse than what’s there now.

The Cobalt Devil October 27, 2011 - 10:56 am

“Mayor Bloomberg is offering a powerhouse academic institution $100 million in construction costs, plus free land, to open the high-tech school. Horn said NYU could build the center with $20-$25 million of city money for infrastructure fixes and moving the MTA’s old equipment out of 370 Jay.”

So let me get this straight: in tough economic times, when the MTA is bleeding cash, the city is giving away the old MTA HQ and offering $100m in costs, plus will pay to remove old MTA equipment from the bldg? All this to “push forward” an academic revival in Downtown Brooklyn? Last I looked, St. Francis College, NYC Tech College, and LIU all had campuses in Downtown B’klyn, and have been there for decades. Another big giveaway just to “offload” a building in a hot commercial real estate market in one of the hottest areas of the city?

Unreal. Can someone explain to me what I’m missing here? Cannot NYU afford to buy the building outright and pay for the improvements out of its own pocket?

Benjamin Kabak October 27, 2011 - 11:01 am

I don’t see where that say the MTA won’t get paid. The city can’t just unilaterally give away MTA property. Rather, it seems as though, under one proposal that may not come to pass, the city would buy the property from the MTA and then figure out a deal with NYU. As long as the MTA gets its money for the building, I care far less how the city and NYU work out that deal.

The Cobalt Devil October 27, 2011 - 11:11 am

But if the purchase price goes to the MTA, then the city kicks in $150m or more for improvements/equipment removal, how exactly does the city as a whole benefit from this deal? I’m all for selling the building and putting some cash into the MTA’s coffers, but not if an equal or higher amount is spend by NYC to help a private institution do what it should be doing with its own money.

I know this is all very preliminary, and the MTA/city may very well benefit from this, but giving away so much for a questionable gain is cause for concern, especially in such hard economic times. Cannot the MTA just sell the building to the highest bidder and let the new owner spend its own money?

NYU inching closer to deal on 370 Jay St. :: Second Ave. Sagas January 2, 2012 - 11:30 pm

[…] stop has remained untouched but shrouded in scaffolding. NYU, we learned in October, wants to convert it into a Center for Urban Sciences and Progress, and the deal might just be moving forward as long as the price is […]

NYU, NYC, MTA reach deal for 370 Jay Street :: Second Ave. Sagas April 24, 2012 - 12:51 am

[…] NYU first announced its plans to open a science center in Brooklyn, the university originally offered the MTA $20 million to vacate its premises. The authority, no […]


Leave a Comment