New Condo Projects Displace Two Manhattan Schools Developments Affect the Upper West and East Sides

The Collegiate School at its location on 260 West 78th Street in Manhattan, circa 2008 (participant/team Team Boerum, via Wikimedia Commons)

Talk about an education in real estate: recent condo developments on the Upper East and Upper West sides have coincidentally both involved the displacements of two schools at their respective construction sites.

At East 85th Street and Park Avenue, Extell Development Company launched sales at 1010 Park Avenue last month for its 16-story, 11-unit condo property consisting of full-floor and duplex layouts. Units at the building reportedly cost around $4,000 per square foot. According to The New York Times, the development plan for the property originally had loftier aims, but had to be scaled down to comply with historic district requirements.

The site for the development was purchased in 2013 for $25 million from the Park Avenue Christian Church, a transaction that angered some area parents because it resulted in the last-minute relocation of the Park Avenue Christian Church Day School. The preschool reportedly had to make an abrupt move to the Upper West Side, with little prep time before that school year.

While the anger from parents for the project has since subsided, Donna Olshan, President of brokerage firm Olshan Realty described the unit prices at 1010 Park as “unrealistic.” She told the Times: “Developers can try to market and throw parties and all kinds of things, but in the market right now, there’s only one tool in the toolbox — only one — and it’s called ‘price.’”

Live and Learn

On the Upper West Side, the West End Collegiate Church sold a development site for $158 million to Alchemy Properties founder Ken Horn. The site includes multiple buildings that had been used by the Collegiate School (which is unaffiliated with the church) at 260-262 W. 78th Street, as well as an adjacent property at 378 West End Avenue.

But unlike what happened at 1010 Park, the transition here appeared smoother. According to the New York Post, Collegiate Asset Management purchased the Collegiate School properties in 2015 for $45 million, allowing the school to lease its former space before officially relocating just a few blocks to 301 Freedom Place South at the beginning of this year.

According to Curbed, COOKFOX Architects will design the new project that would involve the demolition of the current buildings to make room for a 19-story residential condo tower at 378 West End Avenue, and a 12-story building at 260-262 West 78th Street.

The development aims to offer 58 to 62 units, and its 20,000 square feet of amenities may include a pool, a kids' play space, and a gym. As of now, construction is slated to begin before year's end.

Mike Odenthal is a staff writer at The Cooperator.

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