Skip to main content
Press Release

NYCEDC Announces Two Generational Life Science Projects in Kips Bay Reaching Critical Next Step Entering Into ULURP

Jun 24 2024
Aerial rendering of SPARC Kips Bay

SPARC Kips Bay, First-of-Its-Kind Job and Education Hub, Will Create More Than 15,000 Jobs, Generate $42 Billion in Economic Impact

Innovation East, Home of the Former Public Health Lab, Will Transform Into a New State-of-the-Art Life Sciences Hub, Creating Nearly 1,000 New Jobs

Both Projects Will Help Further Cement New York City as a Global Leader in the Life Sciences Sector, Delivering Over 1.5 Million Square Feet of Life Sciences Space

NEW YORK, NY—Today, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced the beginning of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for two key life sciences projects in the Kips Bay neighborhood in Manhattan. The Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC) Kips Bay project, is a first-of-its-kind life sciences innovation, career, and education hub transforming an entire city block with up to 2 million square feet of academic, public health, and life sciences space. Announced by Mayor Eric Adams, Governor Kathy Hochul, NYCEDC, and CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos in October 2022, this visionary project is expected to create more than 15,000 total jobs, generate $42 billion in economic impact, and establish a pipeline from New York City’s public schools and public universities to future forward and family-supporting careers in the life sciences and health care sectors. The Innovation East development, located on 455 1st Ave, will replace the former public health lab with a new state-of-the-art life science hub. Both projects are key initiatives to advance the LifeSci NYC goal of creating 10 million square feet of life sciences space by 2030 and cementing New York City as a global leader in creating and attracting accessible jobs in life sciences, health care, and public health.

“Today, we’re kicking off the official public review process for our administration’s next major transformation of the city’s shorelines, as we reimagine our waterfronts—that first made New York the economic engine of this nation—into the ‘Harbor of the Future,’” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “The Science Park and Research Campus and Innovation East projects at Kips Bay will provide pathways to prosperity for public school students, it will boost our economy with 15,000 jobs and $42 billion in economic activity, and it will help write into stone New York City’s global reputation as a leader in science, health care, and public health. We look forward to receiving public feedback as we recommit ourselves to establishing New York City as the global destination for technology, innovation, and opportunity for generations to come.”

“SPARC Kips Bay and Innovation East are transformative projects that represent the types of critical investments we are making as a City to become the center of the life science industry and create thousands of new family-sustaining jobs for all New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “As these projects start the ULURP process, I look forward to continuing to work with our partners across government and industry to develop Kips Bay into a global life science hub.”

“Today marks a huge milestone for two generational projects in Kips Bay that will have a lasting impact on New York City’s life sciences ecosystem and will truly cement our city as the global leader in the space,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “SPARC Kips Bay and Innovation East will create an enormous amount of economic impact, career pathways for New Yorkers to enter into the life sciences and health sectors, while also providing dramatic public realm improvements to the neighborhood. NYCEDC looks forward to working alongside our academic and development partners, Council Members Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera, Manhattan Community Board 6, and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine throughout the ULURP process.”


A truly generational and first-of-its-kind project, SPARC Kips Bay is expected to generate approximately $42 billion in economic impact over the next 30 years, create over 15,000 jobs, including 12,000 union construction jobs and 3,100 permanent jobs in the life sciences sector, and transform Hunter College’s Brookdale Campus on East 25th Street and First Avenue into new, state-of-the-art teaching and institutional facilities. The project also achieves long-standing community priorities with nearly two acres of public realm improvements, including the creation of new publicly accessible open space, and a new ADA accessible 25th Street pedestrian bridge over the FDR.

SPARC Kips Bay will be anchored by new, modern facilities for students from the Hunter College School of Nursing and School of Health Professions, the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s multiple health care programs. The hub will also feature:

  • A Health + Hospitals (H+H)/Bellevue ambulatory care center that will offer screenings, same-day procedures, diagnostics, and preventative care—reducing average wait times for patients by up to seven days;
  • A H+H Nursing Advanced Practice Center that will serve H+H employees systemwide and allow CUNY students and others to simulate real-life medical situations in an academic setting;
  • A New York City Public Schools (NYCPS) FutureReady NYC high school providing hands-on and career-connected learning in health care and sciences to prepare students for secondary education and careers in these growing sectors by leveraging partnerships with partner institutions;
  • A new OCME Forensic Pathology Center, which will be a nation-leading training facility for forensic pathologists, with a 24/7, year-round operational schedule;
  • New life sciences office space, dry and wet labs, and translational research facilities that focus on growth trends in the industry like the use of machine learning for drug discovery; and
  • With nearly two acres of new open space and public realm improvements, including SPARC Square – a publicly accessible central open space – and a new ADA-accessible pedestrian bridge at 25th Street.

Beginning ULURP is a critical milestone for this generational project, building upon:

  • Last November Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul unveiled the SPARC Kips Bay Master Plan. The master plan outlines key project details, including a new site plan and conceptual design, a new model for education and job training pipelines, and public health by creating a pipeline from local public schools to careers in these essential sectors.
  • In late 2023, NYCEDC released an RFP for the design of the project’s first phase including SPARC Square and other public realm improvements, over 600,000 square feet of educational facilities for the City University of New York and New York City Public Schools, flood protection measures, and a new ADA accessible pedestrian bridge. In April 2024, Ennead Architects was selected to complete the design after a competitive RFP process.
  • NYCEDC also announced the formation of the SPARC Kips Bay Community Task Force, co-chaired by Council Member Keith Powers and the CB6 Chair, and the Kips Bay Science District (KBSD) Education and Workforce Task Force. The different task forces were formed to help guide the community engagement process as well as help develop a clear vision for the career pathways, programs, and partnerships for New Yorkers. Since the announcement the task forces have met numerous times, engaging with community members and key stakeholders.
  • Earlier this year, NYCEDC released an RFEI to source a world-class anchor tenant who will establish and operate a cutting-edge life sciences center at SPARC Kips Bay.
  • Recently, NYCEDC released a RFP seeking a construction manager to manage the construction of the first phase of SPARC Kips Bay – with a contract expected to be $1 billion.


Innovation East, located at 455 1st Avenue, will transform the former Public Health Laboratory, which is being rebuilt at Harlem Hospital, into a state-of-the-art life sciences hub, helping to foster a vibrant research ecosystem in the Kips Bay neighborhood. The new 500,000 square feet project will also provide a range of benefits to the community. Innovation East has the potential to create more than 1,000 jobs across skills and education levels, including life sciences jobs, business managers, administrative assistants, and building service workers. The facility will also include partnerships with local K-12 schools, colleges, and nonprofits to build access to career pathways in the life sciences sector, including hands-on educational opportunities for K-12 students; internships and networking opportunities for college students; and job training and recruitment opportunities for residents and the community. The project is being developed by Taconic Partners and DivcoWest.

The new building will also feature:

  • State-of-the-art commercial life sciences space for companies in varying stages of development, as well as entrepreneurial research labs for NYU Grossman School of Medicine;
  • Opportunities for collaboration within the life sciences community, including the creation of a 9,000+ square foot multipurpose space;
  • Retail café on the ground floor that will serve as an amenity to both building tenants and the broader community, as well as will contribute to an active, transparent ground floor that engages pedestrians and the neighborhood;
  • And LEED Gold standard designs with fully electric and flood-resilient systems. 

Additionally, Innovation East is committed to active participation in Minority, Women-Owned, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (M/WBE) contracting during construction and in NYCEDC’s HIRE NYC program, connecting job seekers to construction and permanent jobs.

“CUNY is proud to help anchor SPARC Kips Bay,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “This transformational project, bringing three CUNY schools under one roof, will offer unmatched opportunities to help students, faculty and the local community benefit from access to the growing fields of life sciences, health care and public health.”

"These two transformative projects represent a significant leap forward towards New York State becoming a global leader in the life sciences sector,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight. “SPARC Kips Bay and Innovation East will not only create thousands of jobs and generate billions in economic impact, but will also establish a crucial pipeline for our workforce by connecting education to career opportunities in this rapidly growing field. The collective investments by the State and the City in the life sciences sector will ensure New York remains at the forefront of scientific innovation and economic growth for generations to come."

“New York City has long been a leader in life sciences and these two projects will help to keep it that way. Thanks to great planning and collaboration, SPARC Kips Bay and Innovation East represent more than just new buildings – they're contributing to a thriving ecosystem of education, jobs, health care, science, and public space. And with our City of Yes for Economic Opportunity proposal now approved, it will be easier for life sciences projects like this to succeed and grow for years to come,” said Dan Garodnick, Director of the Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission.

“Today's announcement represents a major milestone that will make SPARC Kips Bay an integrated hub for education, training and innovation that will generate nearly 15,000 good paying jobs in the life sciences and healthcare”, said Mayor's Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. “SPARC Kips Bay will help position public high school and college students for careers that offer economic mobility, ensure our economy has talent trained in-demand healthcare and life sciences occupations, and help the city achieve its decarbonization goals as a key commitment outlined in the Green Economy Action Plan.”

“The start of the ULURP process marks an important step in our journey toward the opening of SPARC Kips Bay, which will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our work at the intersection of public health and safety,” said New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham. “Our agency has called the Kips Bay neighborhood home for more than a century, and we look forward to serving communities with world-class forensic science and medicine through this transformative new project.”

“SCA is proud to be part of this incredible transformation of New York City's life sciences landscape,” said Nina Kubota, President and CEO, New York City School Construction Authority. “This robust project will strengthen the connection from classrooms to careers on the forefront of global health and scientific advancement, reinforcing this City as a leading hub for accessible, pioneering careers in life sciences, healthcare, and public health.”

“Embarking on the ULURP process for these transformative projects in Kips Bay reflects the continued momentum for future-focused growth and innovation,” said “New” New York Executive Director B.J. Jones. “With a focus on connecting education, careers, and cutting-edge research, these initiatives advance the “New” New York Panel’s recommendations for creating a thriving economy that is propelled by becoming a global hub for the life sciences and health care sectors.”

“With this step, SPARC Kips Bay Life Sciences Innovation, Career, and Education Hub is closer to offering a new, state-of-the-art medical home for some of our patients,” said Andrew Wallach, MD, Ambulatory Care Chief Medical Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals. “This new space will allow NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue to further expand primary care, prevention and wellness services for its ambulatory patients and decrease wait-times for appointments. Further, as we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that every New Yorker have a primary care doctor and this expansion helps us obtain that goal.”

“As we move closer to making SPARC Kips Bay a reality, today’s announcement of the beginning of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is a welcome development for what will be the first of its kind life sciences and health education hub,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “I’m proud to support SPARC Kips Bay and look forward to continued progress on this critical project.” 

“We must do everything to ensure that New York City as a leader in life sciences industries” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “This project has enormous potential, and I am excited to see it enter the beginning of the ULURP process and get one step closer to becoming a reality.”

“The SPARC Kips Bay project represents a tremendous opportunity for our neighborhood. I am excited to move forward with this proposal to provide a new public high school, expand CUNY, create more open space, and bring new healthcare & life sciences facilities to our area,” said Councilmember Keith Powers. “I look forward to working with stakeholders to ensure community feedback is incorporated as we move through the land use process.”

“Innovation East represents a major leap forward for the New York City life sciences market,” said Matthew Weir, President, Elevate Research Properties, a subsidiary of Taconic Partners. “We are excited to create this new center of innovation and to further establish NYC as a global research hub through our collaboration with NYU Langone, the City of New York and DivcoWest.” 

“DivcoWest is thrilled to collaborate with the City of New York, NYU Langone, and Taconic to create a top-tier life science research and innovation hub in New York, home to a vast talent pool. We believe Innovation East will drive pioneering discoveries and foster next generation company growth in the life sciences sector,” said Ariel Aber, Managing Director, and NY Regional Head of Investments at DivcoWest. “We are proud to contribute to this state-of-the-art development, supporting the expansion of the life science research sector and job creation in the city.”

“Manhattan Community Board Six (CB6) congratulates NYCEDC and SPARC Kips Bay and Innovation East project teams for reaching this important milestone. With the start of the ULURP process, CB6 will begin our City Charter-mandated responsibility to formally examine the proposals and be the venue for the first stage of public review. CB6 encourages all those who live and work in Kips Bay to attend our upcoming meetings and public hearings on these projects so that together we can redevelop them into resources that benefit our entire community,” said Sandra McKee, Chair of Manhattan Community Board Six.

“As New York City continues to reinvigorate its economy, we must invest in development projects that will not only help deepen our role as a leader in healthcare and life sciences infrastructure, but also create thousands of family sustaining union careers,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “We applaud NYCEDC, along with Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams, for advancing SPARC by entering into the ULURP process, which will help streamline this key project and establish New York City as a catalyst for groundbreaking research and scientific advancement, all while driving further economic growth that will improve the lives of all New Yorkers. Our members look forward to playing a key role in this initiative and pursuing the middle-class opportunities it creates for them and their families.”

Today’s announcement builds on the Adams administration’s broader strategy to develop the Harbor of the Future—a reimagined, East River-connected network of innovation and growth. The Harbor of the Future includes emerging innovation centers at the Hunts Point Produce Market, Governors Island, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Science Park and Research Campus in Kips Bay, the Brooklyn Marine Terminal transformation, and the North Shore of Staten Island. Most recently, Mayor Adams announced that the city will invest $100 million to create the “Climate Innovation Hub” at the Brooklyn Army Terminal as a part of the city’s Green Economy Action Plan that will position New Yorkers to benefit from nearly 400,000 “green-collar” jobs by 2040.

The New York City Charter requires certain actions that are reviewed by the City Planning Commission to undergo ULURP. ULURP is a standardized procedure whereby applications affecting the land use of the city are publicly reviewed. The Charter also mandates time frames within which application review must take place. Key participants in the ULURP process are the Department of City Planning (DCP) and the City Planning Commission, Community Boards, the Borough Presidents, the Borough Boards, the City Council, and the Mayor.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity; build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city's future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.