Savills completed a 50,000 s/f transaction for The Quad Preparatory School (Quad Prep) at 19 Cedar Street (within 80 Maiden Lane) in Lower Manhattan, securing a rare building within a building for the organization.
Quad Prep, founded by Dr. Kimberly Busi, is an independent college preparatory school dedicated to the education of twice-exceptional students: gifted children with learning differences.
The school opened its doors in 2014 after a successful pilot year with three students in grades 6-8. Its mission is to transform the lives of twice-exceptional learners by redefining the experience of school.
The Savills team of Vice Chairman Marc Shapses, Senior Managing Director Roi Shleifer and Assistant Director Seth Wasserman secured Quad Prep’s home for kindergarten through 8th grade students at 25 Pine Street in 2016.
As the school faced extraordinary growth and the opportunity to add a middle & high school, it turned to the Savills team to devise a solution.
Since opening its doors, Quad Prep has grown tremendously. For the 2018-2019 school year, Quad Prep welcomed 113 students in grades K-12, an increase of over 41% from the previous school year. In order to meet the needs of the growing school, and to provide a distinct high school experience for the older students, Quad Prep began searching for a new space in 2017.
“Quad Prep needed to expand near its existing campus at 25 Pine, but it’s incredibly rare to find available school space, especially an office market like Lower Manhattan,” said Shapses.
During an extensive search of the market, the Savills team uncovered office space at A.M. Property Holding Corporation and Normandy Real Estate Partners’ 80 Maiden Lane, just around the corner from the Quad Prep’s existing location.
The space would meet the school’s needs, but there was hesitation about having the students sharing the same entrance and common areas as the building’s office tenants.
“Most landlords don’t want children using the same lobbies and elevators as their office tenants,” explained Shapses. “And space built for children has different requirements and stricter codes than office space, requiring a significant construction investment from the landlord. “Thankfully, A.M.’s Paul Wasserman along with his partner from Normandy Real Estate Partners believed in the Quad Prep mission and were willing to work with us to overcome these challenges.”
The prime downtown location, steps away from every major subway line, the PATH and ferry services, as well as recent upgrades to the building, including all major building systems, a new generator, a full elevator modernization, as well as a new building lobby and entrance, made the building an attractive option for Quad Prep.
Savills secured Quad Prep a private entrance and elevator, a gradual expansion plan across its two floors and the rights for further expansion space within the building.
A.M. Property Holding Corporation will convert the building’s entrance at 19 Cedar Street, the back side of the building, to a dedicated entrance and provide a dedicated elevator and stairway so that the students will be completely isolated from office tenants, effectively providing a building within a building for the school.
The landlord will also complete a full buildout of the school’s space on the ground, 5th and 6th floors.
“Having this completely customized space steps away from our current location is a game-changer for our school,” said Dr. Kimberly Busi. “This new space is essential for us to meet our mission and the needs of our growing student body.”
“Adding Quad Prep to our tenant roster was a logistical challenge that we were thrilled to surmount,” said Wasserman. “Quad Prep’s second location will provide a much-needed educational resource to the downtown area and brings valuable tenant diversity to 80 Maiden Lane.”
Quad Prep will open this new location for its middle/high school in September 2019. The school will include state-of-the-art classroom space, two “wet” high school laboratories for chemistry and biology, a performance space, a large kitchen classroom, an engineering/physics lab and a maker-space project room.
“Finding space for a school in Lower Manhattan would have been challenging enough, but to secure a new home for Quad Prep that functions as a building within a building and has such an accommodating landlord was finding a needle in a haystack,” said Shapses.
Building ownership was represented by CBRE.