Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Brokers City University Land Swap


The New York City Department of Sanitation has initiated what amounts to a land-swap with the City University of New York and the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that will allow for the development of a new outpatient cancer center and a consolidated location for CUNY Hunter College’s health and basic sciences campuses.

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Mark Weiss, Justin DiMare and Howard Kesseler from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented MSKCC in its $215 million purchase of the 66,000-square-foot parcel of land at 525 East 73rd Street that will be the site for the development. The spot was previously the home of a New York City Department of Sanitation garage facility, which was demolished in 2008 to allow for the construction of a new facility. That project never got off the ground and in 2011 the New York City Economic Development Corporation issued a Request for Proposals for its sale and development.

mark bloomberg Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Brokers City University Land Swap
Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Weiss.

Part of the RFP was for the construction of a new garage site. It looks like this will now happen downtown at the CUNY Brookdale campus on First Avenue and 25th Street, which will be vacated by the school with ownership reverting back to the City at a price tag of $180 million. In addition to potentially serving the Department of Sanitation’s needs for a replacement garage facility, the City will initiate a public planning process that could lead to public and residential space there.

The NKGF team said that it found the replacement site for the Department of Sanitation garage site. A NGKF spokesperson declined to confirm the location of the site it found, but according to the City’s own statement, that replacement site is the previously-mentioned CUNY Brookdale campus.

“We were able to arrange the acquisition of the 73rd Street site, which is large enough for MSKCC to expand its New York City footprint and for CUNY to develop the Hunter College Science and Health Professions Building, advancing both institution’s important roles in New York City,” said NGKF’s Mr. Weiss.

For CUNY Hunter, these developments mean that the sites for its basic sciences campus, at East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, and the Brookdale campus, which is being vacated, will combine at the new campus.

“The development site is also perfectly suited for Hunter’s Science and Health Professions Building,” Mr. Weiss said, “since it is near the main Hunter campus at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue and a number of the City’s great hospitals.”

MSKCC’s site is building is expected to be 750,000 square feet, while the combined CUNY campus in the new Science and Health Professions building should be about 336,000 square feet when completed.

A CUNY spokesperson didn’t return a call seeking comment.