Science Park and Research Center to make life sciences accessible for New Yorkers


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Sarah Gabriel, Production Assistant

New York Gov.  Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams teamed up with CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez to announce plans for a one-of-a-kind life science hub in Kips Bay. This $1.6 billion hub will be a joint investment by the city and state.

The Science Park and Research Campus Kips Bay will be the first of its kind in New York and will be one of the most significant investments by the state in history.

SPARC Kips Bay intends to improve New York’s standing as a global leader through the promotion and accessibility of education, jobs and public health in science-related fields. The facility is projected to generate approximately $25 billion over the next 30 years and will create 10,000 jobs including 2,000 permanent positions.

The Brookdale Campus of Hunter College — located on East 25th Street and First Avenue — will be reconstructed into teaching and commercial facilities, covering over 1.5 million square feet. The reconstruction will also add a pedestrian walkway that connects East 25th Street to the East River and Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. The SPARC facilities include 750 healthcare and life science businesses, five medical institutions and 11 higher education institutions.

The investment aims to connect CUNY students to SPARC’s resources and create a direct pipeline for students to enter careers in life sciences.

“This much-needed new facility will allow CUNY to expand our programs in health care and workforce development, connect students to internships and jobs in these growing industries, and expand our robust and growing life sciences research capacity,” CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William Thompson Jr stated.

With COVID-19 hitting New York City harder than most cities, it became apparent to its leaders, now more than ever, that health care and life sciences needed more attention to keep the city alive and functioning.

Trends prior to COVID-19 proved that the healthcare system of New York was not equipped enough to meet the demands of the population, leading Hochul to set a $10 billion multiyear investment in healthcare. $620 million of Hochul’s investment is being dedicated to the Life Science Initiative to expand the healthcare and life sciences fields, and the SPARC hub is a small fraction of the future projects to come.

Hochul plans to improve wages and bonuses for healthcare workers while also investing in the future of the field by providing opportunities for young minds looking for an education.

The SPARC is also part of Mayor Adams’ active campaign to “Get Stuff Done” as well as his commitment to “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” since his first State of the City address delivered in April.

“Health, health care, new innovations, fighting diseases, this is something that’s going to be here with us,” Mayor Adams added, referring to COVID-19. “And we should be the center of that because of the combined diversity we have with students coming from all over the globe.”

CUNY also shared identical goals with about 40,000 students enrolled in health and human service programs per year; they hope to increase programs for life sciences and increase enrollment through accessibility.

“We have what it takes,” Hochul said. “There’s nothing stopping us now, and I believe we can revolutionize the delivery of healthcare for all of New York.”

Construction of SPARC is projected to start in 2026 and is estimated to be completed by the end of 2031.