Jamie Torres-Springer Appointed New Commissioner of Design and Construction

Jamie Torres-Springer. Image Credit: NYC DDC

Torres-Springer, the former First Deputy Commissioner of the department, will be succeeding Senior Advisor for Recovery and outgoing Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. On March 23, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Jamie Torres-Springer as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction. Torres-Springer will be succeeding Lorraine Grillo. Former Commissioner Grillo left the position earlier in March to serve as the City’s Senior Advisor for Recovery.

Commissioner Torres-Springer originally served as the Department of Design and Contraction’s First Deputy commissioner. While in this role Torres-Springer helped in developing the Strategic Blueprint for Construction Excellence, a plan to streamline delivery on capital projects. The plan was introduced in January of 2019 and by early 2020, had already taken off 6 months from typical capital project timelines. The plan aims to eventually take off three years from capital project timelines.

Torres-Springer has led and overseen various projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. Torres-Springer oversaw the construction of field hospitals, COVID-19 Centers of Excellence, stationary and mobile testing sites, vaccination centers, and other helpful facilities for New York citizens. He also assisted in the building and management of the City’s medical personal protective equipment stockpile. This stockpile helps to supply local hospitals and clinics for up to 90 days if needed. Torres-Springer also assists in the siting of vaccination centers as a part of the City’s vaccine command center.

Torres-Springer has done work with the public, private, and non-profit sectors for over 20 years. During his time working with these sectors he has helped to improve inclusive city planning and the development of infrastructure. From 2006 to 2018, Torres-Springer has served as a partner at HR&A Advisors, real estate and economic development consulting firm. His work included urban infrastructure, global resilience planning, open space projects, and citywide strategic plans.

Torres-Springer served as the lead consultant for the preparation of OneNYC: A Strong and Just New York. This plan, made by Mayor Bill de Blasio, was made to plan ahead for and invest in critical infrastructure in Downtown Far Rockaway, Coney Island, Sunset Park, Hunts Point, Lower Manhattan, Governors Island, the Gowanus, and Red Hook neighborhoods. The plan also assists in the effort to close Rikers Island and build smaller and safer borough-based jails.

His previous experience in government affairs includes being Deputy Director of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency in the Mayor’s Office after Hurricane Sandy. Under this position he helped to create a $20 billion long-term resiliency strategy. Torres-Springer also served as Project Director for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation during its capital planning and approvals phase. He has served as a board chair of Fifth Avenue Committee. As a board chair he assisted with community development and built and preserved affordable housing in South Brooklyn. He has also been a board member of Coro New York Leadership Center and a board member of New Yorkers for Parks. Torres-Springer is also accredited at the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is also an adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.

Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “The Department of Design and Construction has been an unsung hero throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – building safe facilities at a breakneck pace to help our city fight this disease in every community. Jamie Torres-Springer has been at the heart of that work, and he is the perfect leader to bring this agency into the next phase of our fight.”

Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer stated, “I’m very honored by Mayor de Blasio’s decision and I intend to keep pushing changes at DDC and in the overall capital construction process so that we can build faster and more efficiently for the people of New York City. I am grateful to have served with Lorraine Grillo at DDC as she led the charge for reform.”

Senior Advisory for Recovery and outgoing Commissioner Lorraine Grillo stated, “For close to three years I watched Jamie take a hands-on role in implementing the changes to DDC’s capital project delivery system that we developed shortly after arriving at the agency together. I know he has the respect of the staff as well as a thorough knowledge of DDC’s operations, and I fully expect him to be a strong and transformational leader of the agency.”

By: Patrick McNeill (Patrick is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)



One thought on “Jamie Torres-Springer Appointed New Commissioner of Design and Construction

  1. So L Grillo left Torres- Springer holding the bag on ESR East River project- These people stink(the DEPT OF CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN) more than the east river after a drought.

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