December 19, 2013

Cornell Tech Chooses Developers for Campus’ First Residential Building

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Companies familiar with the Roosevelt Island neighborhood will collaborate to construct the tech campus’ first residential building, Cornell Tech officials announced earlier this week.

Hudson Companies and Related Companies — real estate firms which have constructed seven buildings to date on Roosevelt Island, according to Cornell Tech Vice President Cathy Dove — will oversee the construction of the residential building, according to a University press release. Construction of the residential hall, designed by architecture firm Handel Architects, is set to commence in early 2015.

Once completed, the building will have 350 units, which will include one, two and three-bedroom suites and be open to students, staff and faculty, according to the press release. Dove added that the building will feature amenities including a gym, a bike room, collaboration rooms, multi-purpose and media rooms and a rooftop deck with “incredible views of the East river and city skyline.”

Both Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher and Dove said they were pleased with the choice to involve both Hudson and Related, describing the firms as “experienced residential developers in New York City.”

“Their proposed design is excellent and fits our vision for housing for the campus — it blends great design, functionality and sustainability while allowing us to keep the rents reasonable,” Dove said in an email.

In line with the University’s sustainability initiatives, the building will focus on reducing energy and carbon emissions and will rely on “passive sustainable design features,” Dove said. Its design will incorporate energy efficient interior cooling and heating solutions as well as a high performance building facade.

Huttenlocher added that the residential building will “break new ground with its approach to sustainability and building system designs” and is important to attracting talent to the campus.

“The residential building is a critical piece of Cornell Tech’s ability to attract the best talent by creating a 24/7 community of graduate students and faculty, with outstanding on-campus residential facilities that complement the leading-edge academic environment,” Huttenlocher said in the press release.

David Kramer, partner of The Hudson Companies, said in a press release that he hopes the building sets a “new standard for high rise residential design, technology and innovation.”

“Hudson and Related could not be more excited for the opportunity to play a role in this once-in-a-lifetime development, which will bring immense growth to New York’s tech sector for generations to come,” Kramer said.

The tech campus’ announcement marks another milestone for the development of the Roosevelt Island campus. In June, University officials choose Forest City Ratner Companies to be the “master developer” of the first phase of construction at the campus.

Ratner will also be responsible for developing Cornell Tech’s first academic building and a 200,000-square-foot “corporate co-location building,” which will house tech companies that will interact with students.

Demolition of the Coler-Goldwater Hospital — which sits on the site of the future campus — will begin in January, while construction on the first academic building will commence in fall 2014, according to Dove.

The Roosevelt Island campus is set to open in 2017, with the full buildout of the campus projected to be completed in 2037. Until the campus opens, Cornell Tech has been and will continue to operate out of space donated by Google in Manhattan.