Citigroup Plans 11K-SF Outpost at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island

The bank plans to collaborate with students and faculty on tech projects



Citigroup has inked a deal for a small office in a commercial building being constructed as part of Cornell Tech’s new Roosevelt Island campus.

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The financial services corporation took 10,900 square feet on the fifth floor of The Bridge, a six-story, 23,000-square-foot “corporate co-location building” where “established tech companies and startups are located side-by-side academic researchers with the goal of bringing tech to market faster,” according to Cornell Tech’s website. Developed by Forest City New York, the office building will join two other nearly complete pieces of Cornell Tech’s campus: a passive house, a 350-unit dorm tower called The House and a 160,000-square-foot academic building known as The Bloomberg Center.

Citi’s lease will last for 10 years, and the asking rent was $65 a square foot, CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe told Commercial Observer. 

The outpost will house 70 to 80 Citi employees who focus on financial technology, cybersecurity, machine learning, biometric authentication and other technology that the bank can use to safeguard its customers’ information, according to a press release from Citigroup. Employees are expected to move in during the first quarter of 2018.

“It certainly took the form of a real estate deal but it was ultimately a decision to invest in human capital,” Tighe said. “Citi made a decision to open a small outpost at Cornell Tech so they could have an early look at the students and develop relationships with the faculty.”

Tighe and a team of CBRE’s Evan Haskell, Sacha Zarba, Ross Zimbalist and Evan Fiddle represented the landlord, and Forest City’s Ali Esmaeilzadeh oversaw the transaction in-house. Citi was represented by its in-house real estate department.