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Academic Expansions
Last week, The Speyer Legacy School—a private institution for “intellectually advanced” kindergartners through eighth graders—signed a lease for an 85,000-square-foot campus spanning 400 West 59th Street and 925 Ninth Avenue. That’s a nearly 10-fold increase in size from its current schoolhouse at 15 West 86th Street, Speyer’s home since it was founded four years ago. But Speyer and its young students aren’t the only ones going through dramatic growth spurts. New York City Department of Education spokesperson Marge Feinberg said in an email that since 2002, the D.O.E. has created nearly 600 new schools, including 149 charter schools. New York’s 1,750 public schools enroll 1.1 million students, and population trends as well as changing migration patterns, which are seeing more young families eschewing the suburbs for the safe, clean city, should swell class rolls. A 2007 Census Bureau American Community Survey found a 4.7 percent increase in New York’s under-5 population, up to 566,628 from 540,878 in 2000. And the birth rate, which fell sharply during the 1990s and basically flatlined through 2005, spiked by 4.5 percent between then and 2008. “The baby boomers’ kids are having kids now,” said Alex Jinishian, a vice chairman at Colliers International who represented Speyer in the deal. “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 force in the economy.” Below, Commercial Observer staff reporter Billy Gray spotlights new schools coming online this year.
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1. Speyer Legacy School

6. The Blue School

400 West 59th Street and 925 Ninth Avenue; Projected Opening: Fall 2013 The selective private school for the gifted is moving into spacious new digs that will accommodate a projected 324 students by 2015, up from 26 enrolled students in 2009, the school’s inaugural year.

241 Water Street; Now Open The $32,000-per-year private primary school from the founders of Blue Man Group—really—acquired the 33,168-squarefoot former home of the Seamen’s Church Institute in 2010 for $15.1 million.

7. New York Kids Club
2 Northside Piers; Projected Opening: Fall 2013 As of last week, the privately owned enrichment center for preschool children with seven city outposts was in the final stages of buying a 9,200-square-foot retail condo in Williamsburg for a rumored $2.8 million.
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2. Basic Trust

127 West 94th Street; Projected Opening: 2014 The nonprofit early childcare arm of the K-through-8 Mandell School last week acquired a 5,541-square-foot Upper West Side townhouse for $3.8 million.

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3. YDE School

8. The Mandell School

2533 Coney Island Avenue; Projected Opening: Fall 2013 The Hebrew academy announced last October that it would move from Gravesend to a 25,000-square-foot building and adjacent 25,000-square-foot parking lot in Sheepshead Bay.

666 Greenwich Street; Projected Opening: Fall 2013 The Upper West Side K-through-8 private school is reportedly planning a new preschool branch in the Village after earlier considering options in the Financial District and Tribeca.

4. Buckley School

112 and 114 East 73rd Street; Projected Opening: N/A The eminent Upper East Side grade school for boys spent $16 million last September on two 5,000-square-foot townhouses across from its main campus, reportedly for use as science and music labs.

9. Mozarts and Einsteins

910 Union Street; Projected Opening: Summer 2014 The arts-focused preschool last month signed a 10-year lease for 6,200 square feet in stroller-laden Park Slope.

5. Kunskapsskolan USA
38 Delancey Street; Now Open The Swedish-based education group rolled out its Innovate Manhattan charter middle school in a 15,000-square-foot Lower East Side space it leased early last year.

10. DREAM Charter School

East 104th Street between Second and Third Avenues; Projected Opening: Fall 2014 Aided by a $1 million pledge from Yankees ace Mark Texeira, the nonprofit Harlem RBI last week broke ground on a $78.5 million complex that will welcome a school and 89 units of affordable housing.

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20 | FEBRUARY 12, 2013  | THE COMMERCIAL OBSERVER

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