U3A’s New York office served as consultant to Cornell in the University’s successful quest to win the Bloomberg administration’s competition to attract a world-class applied sciences and engineering campus to New York City, and has since served as real estate advisor in implementing the 2 million square foot campus.
Announced as winner in December, 2011, Cornell received a 10-acre site on Roosevelt Island and $100 million of City capital budget funding. U3A began working with Cornell in early 2011 and assisted Cornell to build the development team needed to respond to the NYC Economic Development Corporation’s initial Request for Expressions of Interest, which was due in March 2011. Working closely with Cornell’s leadership, U3A helped the University to articulate its academic vision and explain how its new campus would catalyze the growth of the City’s tech sector, adding new diversity to its economy. U3A helped Cornell to select an architect and other professionals, complete financial analysis of its proposal, draft copy, and produce the proposal book.
U3A then helped Cornell to craft the University’s submission to NYCEDC’s Request for Proposals, which was delivered in October 2011. Serving as coordinator of an expanded team, U3A helped Cornell to formulate its overall development strategy for the RFP, including the space program, third party development partners, capital budget, and funding plan. U3A also helped Cornell to negotiate the terms of a predevelopment agreement, ground lease, and funding agreement with the City of New York.
U3A serves as the University’s real estate advisor, helping to shepherd Cornell NYC Tech successfully through New York City's land use, design, and environmental review processes on an accelerated schedule with all final public approvals received in May 2013. In addition to classrooms and research space, the campus will accommodate up to 800,000 square feet of housing for students, faculty, and staff; 500,000 square feet of lab and office space for corporate research teams and other businesses; and a potential 200-room hotel conference center.
In 2012, U3A's work focused on assisting the University to identify and select private development partners for the non-academic uses via a competitive process. U3A assisted Cornell to draft and issue Requests for Expressions of Interest for three Phase I buildings to the development community in June 2012. Requests for Proposals were issued to a selected group of respondents in November 2012. As part of Cornell’s third party development team, U3A assisted Cornell with the interviews and negotiations with Master Developer and Residential Developer candidates throughout early 2013. In June 2013, Cornell reached a preliminary deal with Forest City Ratner to be the Master Developer for the first phase of campus construction, with the selection of a joint venture between the Hudson Companies and the Related Companies following. U3A is now working with Cornell on a proposed Executive Education Center and hotel building. The campus has broken ground and is expected to open in the summer of 2017.