NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYS Governor Kathy Hochul Unveil Plan for New $1.6 Billion CUNY Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC)!

A conceptual rendering of the SPARC Kips Bay campus. Courtesy: New York City Economic Development Corporation

A conceptual rendering of the SPARC Kips Bay campus. Courtesy: New York City Economic Development Corporation

Dear Commons Community,

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday unveiled plans for the Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC) Kips Bay, a $1.6 billion job and education innovation hub that will be the first-of-its-kind in the state. Driven by an historic investment from the city and state, SPARC Kips Bay will help New York City become a global leader in creating and attracting accessible jobs in life sciences, health care, and public health by creating a pipeline from local public schools to careers in these growing and essential fields.

Through a partnership with The City University of New York (CUNY), SPARC Kips Bay will generate approximately $25 billion in economic impact to the city over the next 30 years; create 10,000 jobs, including 2,000 permanent jobs; and transform Hunter College’s Brookdale Campus on East 25th Street and First Avenue into new, state-of-the-art teaching and commercial facilities. This project will transform an entire city block — with over 1.5 million square feet of academic, public health, and life sciences space, more than doubling the life sciences footprint in Kips Bay — and rebuild a new accessible pedestrian bridge on East 25th street connecting to the East River and Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.

This public-private partnership delivers on commitments from Mayor Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” and his first State of the City address delivered in April. It also follows a series of actions taken in the first months of the Adams administration to invest in and plan the future of the city and the region’s life sciences industry — the country’s leading region for life sciences jobs and funding — particularly in Kips Bay, where the life science ecosystem has seen over $2 billion in investment in the last 15 years.

“This new Science Park and Research Campus in Kips Bay will be not only a hub for the life sciences industry and an anchor for the neighborhood, but also a bridge to the future for our city’s young people,” said Mayor Adams. “SPARC Kips Bay will transform an entire city block into a state-of-the-art destination for the life sciences industry and be a place where workforce development, economic opportunity, and public health come together seamlessly — attracting businesses and uplifting New Yorkers to bring our city back stronger than ever with $25 billion in new economic activity for our city over the next three decades. Thank you to all our partners for the vision and teamwork to ‘Get Stuff Done.’”

“Thanks to this agreement with the city, SPARC Kips Bay will give New York’s life sciences sector a major boost, creating thousands of high-paying jobs, investing in education, and making New York the place where miracles are made,” Governor Hochul said. “My administration remains laser-focused on saving lives and making New York the home of the transformative fields of the future, and with this project, we will achieve both of these goals at the same time.”

Below is an excerpt of an announcement from CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez commenting on SPARC.




Dear CUNY Community,

Yesterday I proudly joined Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams to announce plans to transform Hunter College’s Brookdale Campus into a 1.5-million-square-foot, state-of-the-art public health and education hub to be known as Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC) Kips Bay. This life sciences hub will house Hunter’s School of Nursing and Hunter research labs, the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Public Policy and Borough of Manhattan Community College health programs. It will also include a new Department of Education high school, creating a talent pipeline from high school to college to nursing school to career.

As the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated, New York City relies on a steady crop of well-trained nurses and health professionals to meet the needs of our complex city. Each year, CUNY enrolls about 40,000 students in health and human services programs, and this facility will prepare them to work in New York’s growing life sciences and public health sectors as well as create much-needed jobs in these fields to help our economy. This expansion will also bolster our strong partnerships with leading health care industry employers including NYC Health + Hospitals, Mount Sinai Health System, One Brooklyn Health, Northwell Health, Maimonides Medical Center and SBH Health System.

This project will not only benefit CUNY. SPARC Kips Bay will create thousands of good jobs for all New Yorkers and generate an estimated $25 billion in economic impact for the city over the next 30 years. The plan features:

  • An H+H/Bellevue ambulatory care center that will offer screenings, same-day procedures, diagnostics and preventive care;
  • An H+H simulation training center that will allow CUNY students and others to simulate patient scenarios, utilizing mock operating rooms and labor and delivery rooms;
  • A new Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) Forensic Pathology Center.
  • Commercial space, public space and an ADA-accessible pedestrian bridge over the FDR drive, integrating the campus into the Kips Bay community.

The planning phase of SPARC Kips Bay will soon get underway in collaboration with all the partners on the project. In the future, we will be providing additional information regarding a timetable for the start of the demolition, construction and any necessary relocations. We expect the dorms in the Brookdale campus to remain open until 2024 but more information will be made available later.

Most importantly, this historic announcement is another sign that CUNY lifts New York. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in New York’s City and State governments to fortify and strengthen our economy as we help it to move forward in ways that fuel equitable growth and long-term prosperity.


Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Ph.D.

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