Former Gateway Schools building for sale

TRD New York /
Oct.October 23, 2008 05:43 PM

The East Village building formerly housing Gateway Schools just hit the market, along with an adjacent townhouse.

The 12,366-square-foot edifice at 236 Second Avenue at 15th Street has seven floors, including a basement, sub-basement and mezzanine. It has nine classrooms, a gym, multi-purpose room, art room, library, offices and a courtyard. The private Gateway Schools (comprised of a program for students ages 5 to 12, and a middle school for students in fifth through eighth grades) is for children with learning disabilities.

Sitting directly adjacent to the school is a five-story townhouse at 306 East 15th Street, which is approximately 7,425 square feet with direct frontage on Stuyvesant Square Park. The Gateway School was using the first floor of the townhouse as office space when it was located next door.

The seller, real estate investor and developer Cofinance, Inc., acquired the buildings last year for $11.5 million when the school purchased three floors of a commercial condominium at 211 West 61st Street from Cofinance. The value of the East Village properties went towards the $20.6 million purchase price that Gateway paid for its new location. The properties didn’t go on the market until now because Gateway had been in the process of transitioning to the new school location. Last month started Gateway’s first school year in the Upper West Side digs.

“We specialize in creative deals,” said James Maurer, president of Cofinance. “They are a great asset to the community and although I’m a real estate investor, I was happy to be part of their expansion.”

After the sale and during the transition process to the Upper West Side building, Gateway paid no rent to Cofinance to Use The Brownstone On 15th Street.

The futures of the old school building and townhouse are uncertain. They could be combined for a school, office space, or the townhouse could become a separate residence or boutique condominium.

“Certainly a school would be logical,” said James Nelson, a partner at Massey Knakal Realty Services and the co-exclusive agent on the project. “So many schools are looking to expand, and the city desperately needs more schools.”

Nelson also said the building would be a good site for a corporate headquarters, and could even be combined with the townhouse to enlarge the space. Nelson said that Gateway had occupied the building since 2001 and performed extensive renovations to modernize the building so it would be an easy move-in for a company.

The townhouse is on the market for $5.9 million, but there’s no set price for the school yet.

“We’re asking for offers,” Nelson said. “We want to see how the market responds to it.”

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