Speyer Legacy School signed for an 85,000-square-foot relocation to and expansion at 400 West 59th Street and 925 Ninth Avenue. The kindergarten through eighth grade school, which was founded in 2009 and caters to an all-“gifted” student body, had been looking to move from its original 9,000-square foot facility at 15 West 86th Street since shortly after its inception.
Cushman & Wakefield‘s Josh Kuriloff, Jodi Roberts and Andrew Braver represented The Brodsky Organization, which owns both buildings. Colliers International‘s Alex Jinishian and Phil Amarante represented the tenant.
Mr. Jinishian said that Speyer had been looking for a new campus for about two and a half years and rented space across the street from 15 West 86th Street as it expanded. “There’s a huge demand among students,” Mr. Jinishian said. “Speyer is selective; they call it intellectually advanced. But the demand is enormous.”
Speyer counted just 26 enrolled students in its first school year. The New York Times reported at the time that administrators hoped to grow to 324 students by 2015. Teachers and children will move into the new space beginning this fall. The campus includes 17,000 square feet at 925 Ninth Avenue, the 121-year-old building that formerly served as Roosevelt Hospital’s William J. Syms Operating Theater. The bulk of the space is at the modern 400 West 59th Street.
School administrators stressed that they’d hoped to stay on the west side, and Mr. Jinishian found the appeal of the neighborhood and properties obvious. “It’s only a block from Columbus Circle, and all the subways there. The buildings are really unique–the old operating theater is a beautiful red brick building and connected to the newer building. It’s a very efficient space, and includes a patio where students can play.”
In addition to accommodating a growing student body, the tenfold increase in the campus footprint will make way for stem and media labs, an arts wing, a gym, a recording studio and a main and satellite libraries.
Education-related tenants should continue to be a major real estate player in the coming years. “The baby boomers’ kids are having kids now,” Mr. Jinishian said. “And New Yorkers are interested in education and spending their capital on that. This industry–if you want to call it that–from basically grammar to secondary education to college has become a major force in the economy.”