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LIU plans $300 million project after selling $76 million in rights to RXR Realty

Long Island University (LIU) is selling $76 million in rights to build on its Brooklyn campus to Uniondale-based developer RXR Realty to set the stage for a $300 million project, the university’s biggest expansion since it was established in 1926.

The project features a new university building with a rooftop athletic field and a high-rise residential tower, officials for both organizations told Newsday.

“We are entering into an exciting collaboration with RXR Realty that will allow historic investments in our Brooklyn campus and help to propel LIU into its second century, to reach unprecedented levels of academic achievement and national prominence,” LIU president Kimberly Cline said in a letter announcing the plan to faculty and staff on the Brooklyn campus.

She said that “not all the specific details of this project are finalized and details remain to be worked out.”

LIU and RXR Realty are currently seeking building permits for the project, the published report says, following the formal agreement signing in late December.

The 11-acre campus off Flatbush Ave. between Willoughby St. and DeKalb Ave. and west of Fort Greene Park, is slated for the area where LIU Brooklyn’s athletic fields are located. It includes:

  • An 18,000-sq. ft. LIU building, with the athletic fields relocated onto the roof;
  • A 34-story tower that will have 476 residential units, with amenities including a yoga room, fitness area and roof terrace; and
  • A new parking garage to replace the current outdated structure.

“RXR is both a developer and a member of the larger New York metropolitan community. In these roles, we not only try to find great projects that satisfy demand in the marketplace but also look to strengthen institutions and municipalities through these developments,” RXR Realty executive vice-president Seth Pinsky told Newsday. “On LIU’s Brooklyn campus, we found the perfect opportunity to do both.”

In her memo, Cline said the additional financial resources will accelerate the strategic plan and fund capital improvements to the Brooklyn campus, including a new food court, facilities for a new planned Digital Game Design program, a communications center for media arts, expansion of laboratories and programs in computer science, addition of two floors on the Health Sciences and Pharmacy building, and more common study space with upgraded technology.

Plans are for construction to start in May, 2019, with competition of the athletic fields on top of the 18,000 sq. ft. LIU building in Sept. 2020. The rest of the LIU building would be completed by May, 2021, and RXR Realty will finish the 34-story, 476-unit residential building in November, 2021.

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