After Sandy, Mandell School shifts proposed preschool to West Village

By Hiten Samtani | January 07, 2013 02:30PM

Updated: 11:13 a.m., Jan. 8:

The Mandell School, a private school long situated on the Upper West Side, is planning a new West Village preschool location, The Real Deal has learned.

Mandell had previously proposed opening a new preschool in Tribeca or Battery Park City, but instead decided to plant its new nursery school in some of the commercial space at the historic Archive Building, a Rockrose property at 666 Greenwich Street. The school is expected to open its doors in time for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.

The school, founded in 1939, is headquartered on the Upper West Side, between 99th and 100th Streets at Columbus Avenue. It has students in preschool through 8th grade, and preschool tuition ranges from $12,400 to $21,750. Gabriella Rowe, a former investment banker, heads the school.

In September 2012, the school opened a new preschool branch in 150 Amsterdam Avenue, the 42-story tower at Lincoln Square, and was supposed to open a third location in a 22,000-square-foot space at 30 Broad Street in the Financial District. But the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy on Lower Manhattan precipitated the school to open instead in the West Village.

“For New York City families, applying to schools is an uphill battle,” said Rowe. “In response to the overwhelming demand we’re seeing in Lower Manhattan, the Mandell School is bringing our highly successful experiential learning model to the West Village, in one of the most highly recognized buildings in the neighborhood. It’s a perfect match.”

Built in 1892, the 11-story, 553,000-square-foot red brick Archive Building has 409 residential units and five commercial units and is located at 633 Washington Street in the West Village. Good schools are widely considered to be a boon to surrounding real estate prices. “There is no doubt in my mind that more schools bring more families,” said Sonia Stock, a senior vice-president at Douglas Elliman. “As a result, the demand to relocate to the surrounding area will see a rise in the price per square foot. Inventory is at a low for two, three, and four bedrooms in the area, and any new development taking place will have no problem in both selling or renting to be minutes from this school.”

When the Elghanayan brothers, who founded Rockrose in 1970, decided to go their separate ways in September 2009, the property transferred over to the oldest brother H. Henry, whose firm kept the Rockrose name . The two younger brothers, K. Thomas and Frederick, went on to found TF Cornerstone.

Representatives from Rockrose did not immediately respond to a request for comment.