Cornell nabs top city development official to help with tech campus

Cornell University has poached a top city development official, Andrew Winters, to spearhead the technology campus it is planning for Roosevelt Island, the university announced in a statement today. Winters, the founding director of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Capital Project Development, will oversee planning and construction at the massive project. Winters will take the role in May, the statement said.

Winters handles large capital projects — like revitalization of Coney Island, the building of the High Line and the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan — in his current role, the statement said. Previously, he served as vice president of planning and development at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Construction is scheduled to commence in 2014, with the first campus building expected to open in 2017. The campus that is expected to grow to more than two million square feet by 2037.

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“The Cornell Tech campus has captured the imagination of New Yorkers as a way to elevate our position in the world of technology and to provide a promising new direction for the city’s economy,” Winters said in the statement.

Cornell and Israeli university Technion have agreed to a 99-year lease for the Roosevelt Island site, and will retain an option to purchase the land at the end of the term, for $1. Cornell will develop the campus, and will assume financial responsibility for its establishment and operations. — Guelda Voien