Yonkers Seeks Plans For Boyce Thompson Building

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The former Boyce Thompson Institute at 1086 North Broadway has been put out to bid by the City of Yonkers. Photo Credit: Matt Bultman

YONKERS, N.Y. – A dilapidated Yonkers building that once housed state-of-the-art philanthropic research has been put out to bid.

The city of Yonkers announced last week the release of a Request for Proposal for the acquisition and redevelopment of the former Boyce Thompson Institute.

City officials said they are encouraging applicants to refurbish and reuse the existing building at 1086 North Broadway for commercial purposes.

“After standing for years as a blighted property in an otherwise prosperous area, the Boyce Thompson site hopefully will soon be part of the economic revitalization for the City of Yonkers,” Mayor Mike Spano said in a statement.

“A building with such unique architecture and prime location should be restored and utilized for the benefit of residents, visitors and to further the economic development goals of the city.”

Built in 1930, the Institute for Plant Research was the creation of philanthropist Boyce Thompson. When it was built, Thompson expected the institute to make valuable contributions to human welfare and medicine, according to the institute named in his likeness.

The country’s growing population needed a larger food supply and Thompson thought the answers lie in the study of plants and their diseases, according to the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research webpage

For 54 years scientists used the facility and its greenhouses to continue their research. Then, in 1978, the Boyce Thompson Institute became a part of Cornell University and the research was moved to the college’s Ithaca campus.

Once the instituate left, the six-acre site was leased out and used for various purposes up until 1997. Two years later, the City of Yonkers purchased the building with plans for an alternative school.

Those plans were eventually scrapped, along with a proposal to turn the six-acre lot into an office complex. Now, the graffiti-covered building and adjoining greenhouses sit vacant, slowly deteriorating after nearly a decade of non-use.

Yonkers officials said they are seeking proposed uses on the site that are designed to fit into and enhance the existing character of the commercial neighborhood.

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