Pace University pitches Downtown tower as dev site

Property, which houses dorms and classrooms, has 850K buildable sf

New York /
Aug.August 21, 2020 05:55 PM
One Pace Plaza (Courtesy of Newmark Knight Frank)

One Pace Plaza (Courtesy of Newmark Knight Frank)

Pace University is looking to sell part of its Lower Manhattan campus near the Brooklyn Bridge.

The school has come to market with One Pace Plaza East, a 462,500-square-foot, 18-story tower that houses dorms, classrooms and a library, according to brokers marketing the deal. The property — bound by Park Row and Frankfort, Gold and Spruce streets — was built in the late 1960s and is being pitched as a potential development site for a life sciences center.

“Once it’s torn down, it will allow for a development of approximately 850,000 square feet,” said Newmark Knight Frank’s Brett Seigel, who is marketing the site along with colleagues Jean Celestin and Evan Layne.

Marketing materials do not mention an asking price for the property, but Real Estate Alert reported that “market pros” estimate the property will fetch $300 million, or $350 per square foot.

The pandemic put financial stress on some private colleges, according to media reports. But Pace’s decision to sell One Pace Plaza East was planned before the pandemic, according to a spokesperson for the college.

The university’s fall semester will begin Monday, offering classes both in-person and online, according to Pace’s website.

Earlier this year, Pace acquired a 30-year leasehold for SL Green Realty’s 215,000-square-foot development at 126-132 Nassau Street. The planned building, to be known as 15 Beekman Street, will have classrooms, dorms, a library, a dining facility and a learning center, essentially replacing the aging One Pace Plaza East, Commercial Observer reported in March.

The university will keep the One Pace Plaza West building, which was recently renovated.

The Newmark team initially marketed the site as a “premier life sciences development opportunity,” as the zoning allows for such properties. But the site is generating a buzz beyond life sciences developers, according to Siegel.

“Because of the fact that you’re going to have these incredible views… we have all kinds of people that are looking at it,” he said. “It’s very, very hard to find, in Manhattan, a development site that allows for 60,000-square-foot floor plates.”

If One Pace Plaza East is sold, the university would occupy the building through spring 2023, and the site would be handed over for redevelopment that fall.

Contact Akiko Matsuda at [email protected]


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