At a well-attended press-conference on Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed the city’s plans to bring a high-tech campus to Downtown Brooklyn on the site of the former headquarters of the New York City Transit Authority, 370 Jay Street.
New York University’s new Center for Urban Sciences and Progress (CUSP) will be moving in as soon as the building is tweaked with some much needed renovation, which is expected to take about five years. Since CUSP is already ready to begin their educational program the school will temporarily be housed in 60,000 square feet of space which they will be renting from Metrotech, until the Jay Street locale is ready.
Bloomberg and city officials have some very high hopes for the economic boon the school will bring, predicting that over the next thirty years CUSP will be able to generate about $5.5 billion in overall economic activity. In addition the city hopes to bring in about $597 million in tax revenues. Thousands of jobs will also (probably) be created.
The president of NYU, John Sexton explained that this new school would not in any way change the long-term plans for the Greenwich Village expansion project, due to be completed by 2031, since the plan to expand out to Brooklyn was already included when the 2031 plan was designed.
President Tom Prendergast of the MTA’s NYCT gave a little history of the building at Jay Street, including his 12 years working there in the 1980s. He described his feelings as ‘bittersweet’ to see what was once “the centerpiece of New York transit” gone.
“Originally built in 1950 for the New York City Board of Transportation, the predecessor agency for New York City Transit, when NYCT was born in 1953 it became our long-term headquarters. Back then before Metrotech was around only the U.S. Treasury handled more cash than the NYCT did on a daily basis. And there was also a train platform right in the basement of 370 Jay Street where Money Trains rolled up and made deposits on a nightly basis for all the people who were buying tokens at that time,” explained Prendergast.