Colleges bid for NYC space

New York City's Roosevelt Island is viewed in this aerial photograph from a helicopter over New York on Nov. 11, 2008.

Jeremy Hobson: Now to New York City -- a little sliver of it in the middle of the East River called Roosevelt Island.
The city wants to turn the island into a science hub. And today is the deadline to submit proposals for a new school of applied sciences.

Sally Herships has more.


Sally Herships: Build it and they will come -- engineers, entrepreneurs and jobs, that is. At least, that's what New York City is counting on. The city is offering free land in return for building a school of applied sciences. Think tech and engineering. Colleges like Stanford, Cornell and the University of Chicago are applying.

Here's Kellogg professor Shane Greenstein.

Shane Greenstein: I don't think it's an accident. We're not observing broke state schools with funding problems in on these biddings.

Building an entire school for a university is pricey. Stanford estimates the cost at $2.5 billion. But a New York City campus focused on high tech could mean more research dollars.

Doug Lynch is vice dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.

Doug Lynch: Having a foothold in NYC for any institution, particularly given the incentives the administration is providing, is quite attractive.

No matter who wins, Lynch says trading away NYC's valuable real estate is risky -- don't forget universities are tax-free.

In New York, I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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