Cuomo looks to sell CUNY property to fill budget gap

170K sf building at 450 West 41st St. houses Hunter’s fine arts program
January 19, 2017 09:00AM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and 450 West 41st Street (Credit: Getty Images)

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to sell a 170,000-square-foot building used by the City University of New York in Hell’s Kitchen to help “offset” a reduction in CUNY funding in his proposed budget.

The six-story building at 450 West 41st Street, between Ninth and 10th avenues, is used to house Hunter College’s Master of Fine Arts program, Politico reported.

Cuomo wants to sell the property in order to help offset a 5.2-percent reduction in state funding in his preliminary budget for CUNY’s senior colleges, from $1.21 billion in fiscal year 2017 to $1.14 billion in fiscal year 2018, a reduction of $63 million.

If the state sells the building, as much as $60 million of the sale’s proceeds could go to senior colleges, provided that they “shall reduce the state’s net operating expense liability … in an equal amount.”

“The expected sale of certain CUNY capital assets will result in available resources to partially offset State support for CUNY,” according to the governor’s financial plan.

The property sits next to Covenant House New York, a shelter for homeless youth that the New York City Economic Development Corporation proposed to sell to developers last spring.

Gary Barnett’s TRData LogoTINY 52-story, 478-unit rental building at 555 10th Avenue sits across the street. [Politico]Rich Bockmann