Proposal Would Put Science Center in Decrepit MTA Bldg.
BROOKLYN — State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Downtown Brooklyn/Downtown Manhattan) is urging the city to move forward with an “Applied Sciences in NYC” proposal submitted by New York University and the Polytechnic Institute of NYU.
The application proposes a Center for Urban Science and Progress at 370 Jay St. in Downtown Brooklyn. The 13-story Jay Street building was built around 1950 as the headquarters for the Transit Authority (now MTA New York City Transit), but has been unused and covered by scaffolds for at least 10 years.
The city is currently considering several plans for a major academic science and technology center in the city. In his letter, Squadron suggested that the city should be open to accepting several proposals, since “370 Jay St. would likely require minimal investment from the city.”
In a letter to Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel, Squadron wrote that “pursuing 370 Jay Street would be a major step forward in the resurgence of Downtown Brooklyn, an area that has garnered hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvements, but in which a full renaissance is stymied by 370 Jay’s current abandonment and disrepair. — NYU’s application presents a long-awaited opportunity.”
Senator Squadron adds, “Awarding NYU’s application would create value for the new center of science and technology, and for the existing ones. Further, if NYU’s application were successful, 370 Jay St. would likely require minimal capital investment from the city. As such, selecting it would not preclude the selection of another, more expensive Applied Sciences proposal as well.”
Last year, the MTA announced plans to rebuild 370 Jay St. as a business center, handling payrolls, contracts and similar functions. The transit agency, however, later withdrew the plan, citing financial concerns.
Under the NYU proposal, the building’s façade would be reconstructed but it would maintain its interior structure.
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