Brearley School mulls shake-up of UES real estate

Dec.December 19, 2013 06:17 PM

The Brearley School, a private girl’s school, has hired commercial real estate brokerage Studley as it explores a possible expansion of its campus or consolidation of its three Upper East Side properties, according to a letter sent to parents and alumnae yesterday.

The school has also hired architecture firm Gensler to consult on plans.

Nicholas Bienstock, chairman of the school board’s building committee and managing partner of real estate private equity firm Savanna, is spearheading the plan.

The school, for grades kindergarten through 12, paid $26.4 million for three educational buildings at 70-74 East End Avenue on the corner of 83rd Street in 2010.

It is considering constructing a new building at that address, and renovating its 85-year-old main building at 610 East 83rd Street, near the East River. Under that potential plan, its third property, a sports facility known as the Field House at 353 East 87th Street between First and Second avenues, would stay the same.

Jane Foley Fried, head of the school since 2011, and Ellen Jewett, president of the board of trustees, said in the letter that most community discussions about Brearley led to the notion of combining all of its facilities into a single building.

“The board has decided to expand our options and consider the possible acquisition of other real estate, either in trade for one or more of our current buildings, or to be acquired with the proceeds of the sale of one or more of our buildings,” Fried and Jewett wrote.

All three properties were purchased without debt and “on favorable terms,” the letter said.

Studley declined to comment for this story. Bienstock and school officials could not be reached immediately.

Savanna signed a lease for 11,378 square feet in the 19-story office building at 430 Park Avenue, as reported earlier today.

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