By Linda O’Flanagan
A decision by the Trump Organization to keep 40 Wall an office building in the face of the residential conversion current that swept downtown has paid off.
Last week, the Pine Street School officially opened an 85,000 s/f facility on three floors of the building. The school has its own, dedicated entrance at 25 Pine Street creating a “building within a building” according to Don Trump Jnr., who oversees leasing at the property.
Working with a team from Cushman & Wakefield led by Jeffrey Lichtenberg and Jared Horowitz, Trump has brought the landmark 1.3 million square-foot tower to almost full occupancy in the past two years.
“We are very happy with what we have been able to do in the last 17 months,” said Trump. “The Pine Street School has been a big part of that, and creating a building within a building for the school caters to a downtown environment that is now heavily residential with a need for services and facilities catering to that new population.”
The school – one of several opening as the downtown population continues to swell – is designed to look and feel very different from a traditional classroom and representative of a new trend in school design, according to its founder, Jennifer Jones.
In the space, designed by New York-based architecture firm Perkins Eastman, every area — including hallways and stairwells — serves as a potential learning space. It has wide hallways, open floor plans, and floor-to-ceiling exterior windows looking over Chase Plaza.
Part of the Green Ivy organization– which opened its first school last year in Battery Park – the school was developed by Jones to offer a Montessori-infused International Baccalaureate education program for students.
It’s opening at 40 Wall – a building Donald Trump Snr. bought for $10 million nearly 20 years ago – has brought occupancy to within a few floors of 100 percent.
Tower space overlooking New York Harbor with 10,000 s/f floor plates and 360 degree views remains to be leased at prices in “the high $40s psf.”
“We have a couple of leases out now,” said Trump Jnr. “The building offers a great opportunity for a lot of different people. When they are used to paying midtown rents, this is a very competitive price.”
With a nod to the efforts of his Cushman & Wakefield leasing team, Trump added, “One of the things we have been able to do is create a very diverse sub-set of tenants. We have law firms, finance companies, charitable organizations. For anyone really looking for boutique space with incredible views, it works.”
“We have spent a lot of money repositioning the building. Luckily we have been able to do that because we don’t have a lot of debt on the property.”
The 72-story property is today estimated to be worth north of $400 million, according to most recent reports.
Tenants include First Investors Management Company , Weidlinger Associates, Duane Reade and The Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Glenn Markman and Joseph Cirone represented Pine Street School in its 85,000 s/f lease.