Hunter College's Brookdale Campus to become global health care hub

Big developments are on the horizon for Kips Bay as Hunter College's Brookdale Campus gears up to undergo a major transformation into a worldwide center for health care and life sciences.

Edric Robinson

Mar 20, 2024, 10:53 PM

Updated 27 days ago

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Big developments are on the horizon for Kips Bay as Hunter College's Brookdale Campus gears up to undergo a major transformation into a worldwide center for health care and life sciences. With the project now moving into the execution phase, a newly appointed design team is ready to spearhead the endeavor.
"It’s a full block transformation," said Cecilia Kushner, chief strategy officer at New York City Economic Development Corporation.
The 5-acre plot in Kips Bay, currently occupied by Hunter College and the School of Nursing, is poised for a pretty ambitious undertaking.
“So a brand-new high school focused on health care, four different CUNY schools all focused on health care and life sciences, a new office for chief medical officer, as well as an extension of the Bellevue Hospital with a new ambulatory care facility,” said Kushner.
The initiative, known as the Science Park and Research Campus, was initially introduced by the governor and mayor in 2022. Dubbed the Kips Bay Science District, the neighborhood is recognized for its significant concentration of hospitals and ongoing research activities.
"We’re looking at close to a million square feet of real estate all centered around a brand-new open space," Kushner elaborated on the extensive project.
As part of the campus overhaul, plans include replacing the existing bridge over the FDR with a new ADA-accessible one, offering direct access to the waterfront. Financing for the project involves a substantial investment of $1.6 billion from CUNY, the state and the city. The Economic Development Corporation estimates it will create 10,000 jobs. It will also generate about $25 billion in economic impact.
Recently, the project underwent its first public hearing for environmental review, with further zoning adjustments required through Ulurp. Additionally, the project is actively seeking tenants.
“We are offering up to $100 million to life science anchor tenants, so we’re looking for a center of life science that will be a part of the campus,” said Kushner.
Molly McGowan, partner at Ennead Architects, expressed enthusiasm for the project. Her team will be leading design efforts. "Building that pipeline for this health life science industry in New York is something that as a firm is something we’ve been engaged in for a while now. It's important that we not just give back to the city physically but economically, and it really starts with education,” said McGowan.
Stakeholders are optimistic about the potential for the campus to create well-paying jobs and drive economic growth.
“We want New Yorkers from high school to CUNY to post graduates to have an opportunity to really enter these careers, save lives and also help New York City’s economy,”said Kushner.
Construction is slated to commence in 2025, with a target completion date set for 2030. See full details on EDC's website.


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