Luxury Condos with a Bonus Elementary School? Only in New York

NEW YORK — In a possible “have your cake and eat it too” moment, New York-based real estate holding, investment and asset management company Trinity Place Holdings Inc. (TPHI) announced that it’s entered into a construction loan in the amount of $189.5 million to finance the construction of a new mixed-use building to include luxury condos and — wait for it — a public elementary school.

Though groans about gentrification in the Big Apple echoed off the island of Manhattan into the surrounding boroughs years ago, the inclusion of an elementary school with the footprint of an approximately 300,000-square-foot Greenwich Street, Manhattan, address signals something of a sea change for the city’s approach to development — especially in Lower Manhattan, which continues to be one of the city’s premier development sites. The project also includes the adaptive reuse of the landmarked Robert and Anne Dickey House as well as 7,500 square feet of street level retail space and construction of a new handicapped accessible subway entrance on Trinity Place, in addition to the school and 90 luxury condominium homes.

TPHI and New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) entered into an agreement that provides for the design and construction of the core and shell of a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade school. The elementary school will occupy the first eight floors of the project, including the landmarked Dickey House, “a Federal-style mansion built from 1809 to 1810, making it one of the city’s oldest houses, even predating the New York City street grid of 1811,” according to the blog Ephemeral New York, which chronicles the changing face of the city.

TPHI invests in, manages, develops and/or redevelops real estate assets beyond New York City. It also owns a shopping center in West Palm Beach, Fla., and big box retail locations in Paramus, N.J., as well as a 50 percent interest in The Berkley, a multifamily property located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg.

“Under this agreement, the SCA will purchase a condominium interest in the project and at substantial completion will finish the interior construction,” a TPHI spokesperson indicated in a statement.

To that end, the planned condominium homes, along with the subway improvements, are likewise scheduled to be completed by 2020.