September 18, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – New York City’s 105 colleges and universities will invest nearly $10 billion on campus construction and facilities upgrades over a five-year period, according to NYC EDU: Building a 21st Century College Town, a new report from the New York Building Congress.
From Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 through FY 2017, the Building Congress forecasts higher education construction spending in New York City to reach $9.85 billion. If realized, this would be a continuation of the nearly $2 billion these institutions have invested annually in capital projects over the past three fiscal years (FY 2010-2012).
“New York City is in the midst of a higher education building boom, which is certainly great news in the near term for the construction industry and the local economy,” said New York Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson. “Far more important, however, is the fact that these institutions, which employ hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, prepare our future leaders and play active roles in their communities, are aggressively investing in their futures.”
Many colleges and universities are building to support anticipated increases in enrollment. Some are accommodating the latest in educational technology, while others are seeking to maintain and expand their dominance in scientific and technological research. And in one case—Cornell Tech—the plan is to create a new applied sciences and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island.
Several of the planned investments are impressive in scope. NYU, with its planned 1.9 million square foot expansion underway, anticipates 14 major construction projects during the five-year period. Columbia University is in the midst of a 6.8 million square foot Manhattanville Campus expansion, and The City University of New York (CUNY) expects to have 11 different major projects in various stages of construction throughout its system. Other major players include Fordham University, which reported three major projects with a combined value of $425 million, and Weill Cornell Medical College, which is putting the finishing touches on its $622 million Belfer Research Building.
Over the past five school years, starting in the fall of 2008 through the summer of 2013, New York City’s colleges and universities commenced work on 463 significant construction projects. With an estimated value of $4.2 billion, the higher education sector represented approximately five percent of all public and private construction starts throughout the City.
"Colleges and universities are helping build New York and in the process lifting the city’s economy," said NYU Senior Vice President Lynne P. Brown.
*** The New York Building Congress is a membership coalition of business, labor, association, and government organizations promoting the design, construction, and real estate industry in New York City.