Upstate News

April 10, 2008
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

SUNY Upstate Medical University to develop former Kennedy Square site

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — SUNY Upstate Medical University will obtain the former Kennedy Square site from the Empire State Development Corp. and plans to build the New York Biotechnology Research Center (BRC) at the site as well as classrooms and additional lab space. The plans for Kennedy Square were announced today (April 9) by local and city officials.

Dr. Smith speaks at Kennedy Square (video)

Kennedy Square is a 14-acre parcel located north of campus, bordered by E. Fayette Street on the south, Forman Avenue on the west, E. Water Street to the north and S. Crouse Ave to the east.

“SUNY Upstate’s future growth and its responsiveness to the needs of the communities we serve throughout the state is linked to our ability to expand our campus and programming,” said SUNY Upstate President David R. Smith, M.D. “This location, just down the street from our main campus, gives us the potential to grow and better serve New York through scientific discovery, clinical care and educational outreach.”

Plans are to use approximately four acres of the site to build the New York Biotechnology Research Center, a $40 million public/private alliance created to stimulate economic activity and create jobs in New York using biotechnology as the driving force.

The center will create and support biotechnology, educational and research programs with its major partners, SUNY Upstate and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Development ideas for the other 10 acres will be sought from private developers, but officials say they anticipate a mixed use of residential and commercial space. Demolition of the existing structures could begin this summer with construction set to begin in a year.

Empire State Development Corp (ESD) Chairman Daniel C. Gundersen said: “ESD’s focus for Kennedy Square has been to turn a difficult situation involving a dilapidated property into an economic engine for the region. Working in partnership with sister state entities, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County, ESD has helped structure not only a good deal, but what we hope becomes a model for collaborative enterprise.”

Gunderson continued: “This project’s inclusion of classroom and research space for SUNY Upstate Medical University and the New York Biotechnology Research Center led by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry builds off existing assets such as the Syracuse Center of Excellence, and higher education institutions to establish a powerful high technology core in the downtown.”

The Syracuse Center of Excellence is being developed across the street from the proposed site for the Biotechology Research Center.

In November, SUNY Upstate expanded its campus further west into downtown Syracuse with the purchase of the former Four Winds building on South Salina Street to serve as the new site of the university’s expanded child care center, as well as a location for various university offices. With the acquisition of the former Kennedy Square site, SUNY Upstate has expanded its footprint north.

“There is great momentum in this announcement today, not only for our campus and for research, but for the greater community,” Smith said.

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