Pratt designs bigger future in Brooklyn

By Lauren Elkies | January 02, 2008 04:58PM

The Pratt Institute plans to break ground on a new LEED-certified
mixed-use building in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood, as the art
and design school looks to expand.

In March, Pratt expects to begin building a 120,000-square-foot
building at 524 Myrtle Avenue, between Emerson Place and Hall Street,
said Mara McGinnis, school spokeswoman. The vacant site is one block
from the main campus.

Pratt needs more space and will use the new building to house several
academic programs, administrative offices and 15,000 square feet of
ground-floor retail space.

Pratt co-owns the property with the original owner, who will lease out
the retail space. The school will own and operate floors two through
six. Pratt will foot the entire $50 million construction bill.

The school hopes to achieve one of Brooklyn’s first gold Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designations from the U.S. Green
Building Council. Green features might include a landscaped roof to
help insulate the building and prevent water runoff, and a geothermal
climate control system. Construction is expected to be completed by
summer 2009.

Two years ago, Pratt opened a bookstore down the block at 550 Myrtle
Avenue at the corner of Emerson Place. The 15,000-square-foot
Prattstore sells school books and trade books, magazines and journals
to students and members of the community. The building is five times
the size of the previous school store and also has a 750-square-foot
exhibition and retail space.

With an eye toward further expansion, the school is likely to build a
residence hall for 132 graduate students on Grand Avenue in the next
three to five years, McGinnis said. Fifty graduate students are already
housed at Grand Avenue Residence, in space that Pratt leases at 100
Grand Avenue. Only five percent of the school’s 1,636 graduate students
live in campus housing, while 47 percent of 2,980 undergraduates live
in student housing.

Pratt is also planning to build a new student center in the next five
to seven years on its main Brooklyn campus at 200 Willoughby Avenue.

And, as reported by Brownstoner, the school plans to convert 27
Landmarked Houses On Willoughby Avenue from faculty residences to
student housing, contingent on faculty union approval and having an
available $12 million.

Pratt was founded in 1877 and has 25 acres in the Clinton Hill area, as
well 80,000 square feet in a seven-story building at 144 West 14th
Street in Manhattan.