Jersey City’s Liberty Science Center planned SciTech Scity was gifted $10 million this week from former U.S. Rep. and New Jersey state Sen., philanthropist and real estate developer Frank Guarini.
Guarini’s gift – matched 50 cents on the dollar with a $5 million pledge from LSC Co-chair David Barry, on behalf of himself and fellow city developers – is the largest in the Liberty Science Center’s history.
SciTech Scity will total 30 acres, include Liberty Science Center, and be named the Frank J. Guarini Innovation Campus. According to LSC, the $15 million in new funding sets the stage for phase one of the project to open in late 2022.
Jersey City donated 12.5 acres of land for the project that aims to rethink K-12 science education and foster science and tech companies. It has garnered previous financial support from founding corporate sponsors including EY, Verizon, Joe and Millie Williams and others.
“Many of us believe that the renaissance of Jersey City began with Frank Guarini’s visionary work,” said LSC President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Hoffman.
A Jersey City native, Guarini’s history-making gift was announced at LSC’s inaugural “The Genius of New Jersey” event, at which he was honored by Hoffman.
“The Frank J. Guarini Innovation Campus will bring together entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, students, and other thinkers and doers who share Alan Kay’s prescription that the best way to predict the future is to invent it,” Hoffman said.
In addition to Liberty Science Center, the first phase of the project will include the construction of Edge Works, Scholars Village and the Public Commons.
Edge Works will be comprised of two hubs: The Works, a fabrication and R&D lab, offices and co-working space for start-ups and entrepreneurs; and The Co-Creation Center, a conference center and tech gallery. Scholars Village will host residential housing for members of the SciTech Scity community, including STEM graduate students, scientists and innovators. And the Public Commons will encompass a 5-acre outdoor park featuring an events plaza, a boardwalk, greenhouses and a 40-foot art installation.
DEVCO is master developer of SciTech Scity, while Erikjan Vermeulen of Concrete in Amsterdam serves as design architect and Neil Porter of Gustafson Porter Bowman in London is the landscape architect.