The Real Deal New York

Brearley School to issue $50M in bonds for campus renovation

Upper East Side girls’ academy joins the NYC private school debt boom

July 21, 2015 01:05PM

Brearley School at 610 East 83rd Street on the Upper East Side

Brearley School at 610 East 83rd Street on the Upper East Side

Top-ranked girls academy The Brearley School is joining the ranks of elite New York City private schools that are issuing bonds and tapping massive endowments to finance campus renovations.

Brearley is set to sell $50 million in tax-exempt bonds for the construction of a new eight-to-ten story building on its Upper East Side campus, according to Bloomberg News. The independent all-girls institution, which charges $43,680 in tuition, will spend a total of $107.5 million on the project. Three tenement buildings will be razed to make way for the new building.


Aside from the bond sale, Brearley also plans to use $37.5 million from a capital campaign and $20 million from its endowment to fund construction.

This could be a record year for New York’s private schools selling bonds, according to the website. The current record was reached in 2002 with a total of $280 million issued.

Riverdale Country School, Saint Ann’s School and La Scuola d’Italia Guglielmo Marconi have been approved to issue a total of $150 million in debt this year. Debt issuance must be approved by economic development agency Build NYC Resource Corp., which receives fees for arranging sales. Build NYC doesn’t face risks if schools default.

The city’s private schools have been competing to outdo each other with increasingly impressive amenities funded by bond sales, all to woo the city’s elite children.

Before finalizing campus plans, Brearley, founded in 1884, had considered leaving 83d Street. [Bloomberg News]  — Tess Hofmann