In One of 2010’s Last Big Leases, 240K Feet for School
Laura Kusisto Feb. 7, 2011, 12:26 p.m.
259 10th Avenue
In 2008, former Esquire publisher Christopher Whittle began his quest on the West Side to open a $200 million for-profit school with top-notch teachers, but that search proved fruitless. Then, they hunted anew.
It was not easy, CB Richard Ellis broker David Maurer-Hollaender told The Commercial Observer, finding space in Manhattan big enough to house a school running from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. In the end, this past December, Avenues Education signed a lease for the 240,000-square-foot building at 10th Avenue, between 25th and 26th streets, taking it for almost half a century.
Disney was using the Chelsea warehouse to store props and sets, but it will undergo a $50 million renovation before the first class starts in fall 2012. Mr. Whittle and former Yale president Benno Schmidt will announce they’ve raised $75 million from two private-equity investors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There was no asking rent, Mr. Maurer-Hollaender said, because the space was never formerly on the market. Not to mention, there aren’t that many comparable spaces around. It will be the first in a series of schools, which will open around the globe.
CBRE’s Glenn Isaacson and Stephen Siegel repped the tenant along with Mr. Maurer-Hollaender.