The City University of New York will split the proceeds from the $62 million sale of the Grace Building at 535 East 80th Street, to buy some pricey science equipment and the 30-year condo interest it agreed to buy last year at 205 East 42nd Street.
One half of the money will buy the new high-end instruments to be used for research at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center on the City College campus in Harlem, while the other half buys the seven floors in the former Pfizer building at 3rd Avenue and 42nd Street, said Michael Arena, a spokesperson for the university.
“We are very excited about this new location, especially because it will have very prominent storefront access,” Mr. Arena said.
When CUNY vacates 535 East 80th Street this spring, it will consolidate its administrative offices into the new midtown location, where it will take 160,000 square feet. The new location includes a welcome center – for prospective students, including freshman and transfer – in a visible storefront location.
In addition to the advantages of the new Midtown location, the storefront was a plus for the school when making that deal because it offers the welcome center greater visibility; whereas the Grace Building’s welcome center was recessed by several yards under a canopy, said a CUNY employee who was close to the deal but declined to be identified.
“People from all over the city and the world are coming through our school… we get thousands of prospective students coming through and we wanted a centralized location for that,” the employee said.
The glass-encased CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, set to open in 2014, is taking shape on the south end of the City College campus. The $250 million building will be 200,000 square feet, and areas of study will focus around Nanotechnology, Photonics, Structural Biology, Neuroscience and Environmental Sciences.