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Jul. 3, 2013

Forest City Ratner Tapped for Master Development of Cornell Tech Campus

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Cornell University’s Board of Trustees is moving forward with plans to develop Cornell Tech, an innovation campus where tech industry professionals and businesses will work with university students under the same roof at the Roosevelt Island Campus of graduate high-tech education to create real-world applications and entrepreneurship.

The Board of Trustees has chosen Brooklyn-based developer Forest City Ratner, a subsidiary of real estate company Forest City Inc. with headquarters in Cleveland, OH, as the master developer of the project’s Phase I—a “corporate co-location” building of up to 200,000 square feet of flex/office space. Designed by award-winning architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi, the building will be owned and operated by Forest City Ratner. It will be anchored by Cornell, which will occupy approximately 50,000 square feet, while the developer will lease the rest of the space to a mix of tech, research and entrepreneurial tenants. Set to break ground in March 2014, the project is still subject to finalizing plans and terms.

Crain’s New York Business reports that Forest City Ratner will also oversee the development of a $200 million building of nearly 150,000 square feet that will be owned entirely by Cornell and used only for classrooms and academic purposes. Construction at the second building is expected to start in spring 2014 under plans designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects. The five-story building will aim for a LEED Platinum certification and once fully completed—in 2017, according to Green Buildings NYC—it is expected to become the largest net-zero structure in the eastern United States. The developers hope that the building will be opened for classes in 2017.

Master plan rendering via Cornell University’s Facebook Page