Nursery school signs for ground floor at Williamsburg’s 184 Kent Avenue

July 07, 2011 12:35PM

The River School, a for-profit nursery school that currently operates on the Upper West Side and in Jersey City, signed a 20-year-lease to bring its entire operation to the 8,000-square-foot ground-floor space of the historic warehouse building at 184 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, the Wall Street Journal reported. The large lease brings closure to a decade of tumultuousness surrounding the 425,000-square-foot Cass Cilbert-designed building. The warehouse’s previous owners wanted to build penthouses on top of the six-story structure, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided to designate it for protection. However, after a series of overrulings, the building was never awarded the designation. Eventually the building was bought by JMH Development, which turned it into a 340-unit luxury rental building, that according to the Journal is now fully leased but for one top-floor unit asking $6,000 per month. Its ground floor space, with easy access to the East River promenade and the East River ferry, now joins the 339 units as leased space. The school’s founder, Richard Kresch, told the Journal that he decided to take the lease because of the growing population of new families in the neighborhood, the history surrounding the building and its easy access from Manhattan. [WSJ]