By Holly Dutton
A Montessori pre-school has joined a growing list of schools populating 22nd Street in the Flatiron District and contributing to a surge in educational leasing in the city.
The school — whose education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child’s natural psychological development — has leased 13,000 s/f of space on the block between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Robert Neborak, formerly of PBS Real Estate which recently merged with ABS, was the leasing broker. He did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the school’s website, The Montessori at Flatiron is scheduled to open in September and enroll children ages 2 to 5.
Construction on the space has started on the ground floor and will be followed by a lower Garden level, which will be built out in the summer of 2014. The space, at 5 West 22nd Street, has 7,500 s/f of ground floor space and a lower level with 6,300 s/f. Neighboring tenants include Lucky Brand Jeans, Home Depot, Restoration Hardware and Eataly. The space features wood floors, a skylight and a heavy freight elevator.
The pre-school joins fellow 22nd Street schools The Manhattan Village Academy at 43 West 22nd Street, NY Kids Club at 38 East 22nd Street and School of the Future at 127 East 22nd Street.
The deal illustrates a growing trend in educational leasing highlighted in a report by CBRE earlier this year.
According to the brokerage, the education sector’s footpriont in the Manhattan office market has increased by 47 percent from 5.5 million square feet in 2005 to 8.1 million square feet in 2012.