Cornell University Enters Race to Win Roosevelt Island Campus Spot

Manhattan Luxury Rentals - Roosevelt IslandRoosevelt Island has been getting a lot of attention lately, what with the Octagon taking huge strides in New York State’s green building practices and Riverwalk Court and Manhattan Park offering luxury apartments for rent in an extremely unique Manhattan neighborhood. Roosevelt Island, currently undergoing development, has been enjoying a burst of popularity and has slowly been climbing the charts when it comes to Manhattan’s “neighborhoods to watch” list. Now, Roosevelt Island gives us one more reason to take a close look at this tiny island on the East River: a competition amongst some of the world’s largest engineering and applied science programs for space to build a campus on the island.

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the city is offering up to $100 million to the development of a major engineering and applied science campus on Roosevelt Island. Cornell University is among the colleges looking to grab this offer and strengthen their (already notable) New York City presence. The Ivy League school isn’t the only school, however, that is hoping to get their hands on this deal. Stanford University and other international schools are competing for the spot as well. But one thing's for sure: whatever school secures the campus grant will bring a new demographic to Roosevelt Island of grad students and college kids, likely spurring the development of this growing section of Manhattan.

Cornell -- already a well-known Ivy League college with a strong presence in Uptown Manhattan -- has recently created a bigger name for itself, planting a $1 billion medical research building for the Weill Cornell Medical College on East 69th Street. The medical school helps to employ 5,000 employees as well as give some of them homes. At the same time, 50,000 alumni work within the city’s walls, really strengthening Cornell’s presence in Manhattan and the New York City housing market. Cornell wants to provide their graduate students with a campus that is easily accessible by subway, making a campus on Roosevelt Island more appealing than other spaces the city offered the university in Governors Island and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. So, Cornell has some kind of pull in Manhattan already and if they succeed in beating out the competition for this space on Roosevelt Island their presence will be even bigger.

We mentioned back in May that Roosevelt Island has recently gone through a huge population boom. Roosevelt Island is a part of Manhattan in the midst of growing pains, with innovative housing and community initiatives cropping up. In June, the Octagon, one of Roosevelt Island’s luxury rental buildings became the first green building in all of New York State to run on an energy-efficient fuel cell. Roosevelt Island also boasts lovely views of Manhattan, a tight-knit community, and luxury apartments for rent at Riverwalk Court and Manhattan Park -- though the island still holds only one Duane Reade. Adding a college campus to the area might help hustle the development of Roosevelt Island and bring new life in the form of young collegiates and all they entail. Either way, real estate trends point to a bright future for Roosevelt Island.