St. John’s University announced that it has leased 71,000 s/f of space for its Manhattan campus at 51 Astor Place, Edward J. Minskoff’s new 12-story, 400,000 s/f office building that occupies the block between Third and Fourth Avenues in the East Village, Manhattan.
Situated in an area that is home to more than 50,000 college students, the new location will house St. John’s School of Risk Management.
The location will also be home to The Language Connection, St. John’s intensive English language institute, and to continuing professional education and other academic programs.
“This location puts St. John’s in the heart of one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods with unlimited student engagement opportunities and access to a host of potential employers,” said St. John’s executive vice pesident, COO and treasurer Martha K. Hirst, who led the University’s in-house real estate team.
She noted that a portion of the developed space was zoned for educational purposes. “We are extremely pleased to have collaborated with Edward Minskoff and his team to reach an agreement that provides St. John’s the perfect Manhattan location where our students and faculty will thrive.”
St. John’s plans to open 51 Astor Place for the 2014 fall semester. The new site will replace the school’s Manhattan campus at 101 Murray Street in Tribeca, which the University sold for $223 million in July 2013. “I am very happy to have reached a lease agreement with St. John’s University,” said Edward J. Minskoff, president, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc. “51 Astor Place’s forward-thinking infrastructure allows tenants to have a high-performance platform for employees and clients, and I am confident that St. John’s will flourish in the space.”
Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, 51 Astor Place features a black-and-white granite lobby anchored by a 14-foot-tall red rabbit sculpture by Jeff Koons, and a public plaza at Astor Place and Third Avenue.
St. John’s will occupy the building’s first and second floors, and part of its concourse level, with a private entrance to be used by the University.
Minskoff Equities has a 99-year lease on the property, which is owned by The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Through a separate Memorandum of Understanding, The Cooper Union has granted St. John’s access for a select number of days each year to the historic Great Hall in the Foundation Building (7 East 7th Street).
The two schools will also share space at 51 Astor Place, with St. John’s providing The Cooper Union with access during certain hours each weekday to two classrooms and satellite office space.
St. John’s will continue to operate at its current Manhattan location at 101 Murray Street through the 2013-14 academic year.
The proceeds from the Murray Street building sale are being used to enhance the University’s academic offerings, improve facilities and augment the school’s endowment, which allows for ongoing financial aid to deserving St. John’s students.
In addition to Ms. Hirst, University Associate General Counsel Nada Llewellyn and Vice President of Facilities Brij Anand comprised the in-house team for St. John’s.
Thomas Henry and Daniel Backer of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as outside counsel to St. John’s. Jeffrey M. Sussman, executive vice president, headed the team from Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc.