The New York City Economic Development Corp. and RAL Development Services has broken ground on an expansive tech center in Union Square. The 240,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed next year.
Located at 124 E. 14th St., the Union Square Tech Training Center is the result of the local community working alongside the city’s administration and the tech industry to create a resource that can bolster the tech talent in New York City. The plans for this $250 million tech hub was first revealed in February 2017.
The 21-story building, designed by David Brody Bond, will feature collaborative workspaces, market-rate space for established companies, and offices that offer flexible or affordable leases for start-ups or growing companies. The tech center will also carve out a floor dedicated to community space and a food hall/retail space that will showcase small businesses or new entrepreneurs.
True to its name, the Union Square Tech Training Center will also offer a training space for digital skills. Civic Hall @ Union Square Center will be anchoring the project and offering classes for in-demand tech skills. The city expects the center to create at least 550 permanent jobs, more than 600 construction jobs and to develop a talent pipeline for the city’s tech industry.
The development is the city’s answer to a continued surge of tech companies and jobs. According to the city, the tech sector reached a record-high of 128,6000 jobs in the city in 2016. The number of tech firms in the city also increased to 7,600, or 23 percent greater than in 2010.
Funding the future
The city and Rivera also created an oversight committee that will guide the tech center’s operations and determine what to do with an annual $200,000 investment designated for scholarships and grants.
The Tech Training Advisory Board ‘s scholarship funds are expected to go to low-income students and also expand training for non-profits so they can utilize the center. The board consists of local organizations, a representative from Civic Hall, a software developer who lives in the neighborhood, and RAL.