Element’s arts center opening

By Lauren Elkies | June 24, 2008 03:10PM

The Manhattan Movement & Arts Center will be among the city’s largest dance facilities when it opens Thursday in the new Element condominium west of Columbus Circle.

The center will occupy a 17,000-square-foot-plus space on the first and second floors of the 35-story Element at 555 West 59th Street. The facility, which will have its entrance on 60th Street, will offer dance, martial arts, fitness classes and a 200-person theater.

The multipurpose arts center also houses the new home of the Manhattan Youth Ballet, a nonprofit, classical ballet program that until recently was a for-profit company called Studio Maestro.

Rose Caiola founded Studio Maestro in 1995 at 48 West 68th Street.

Caiola and her father, Benny Caiola, purchased the site at 555 West 59th Street about five years ago and were waiting for a zoning change so they could develop a residential building with dance center on the ground floor.

Meanwhile, the Element’s developers, Brack Capital Real Estate, Coalco International, Continental Ventures Realty and S&H Equities, bought the “L” shaped property around them and wanted to buy the Caiolas’ site, Rose Caiola said. Her father refused, so the developers agreed to buy the Cailoas’ property and sell it back to them as a commercial condo.

The 370,000-square-foot Element condo building has 186 one- to three-bedroom units. Amenities include swimming pools, fitness and yoga studios, basketball and squash courts, wine valet service and 12,000 square feet of landscaped outdoor space. The project was designed by SLCE Architects.
Corcoran Group Marketing, the exclusive sales and marketing agent for the Element, said 100 units have been occupied since move-ins began at the end of January.

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