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Rent declines, generous work letters, and increased concessions would seem to make now an ideal time for non-profit tenants to consider relocations, but choices are still limited, says senior managing director David Lebenstein, who leads the not-for-profit division at Cassidy Turley.
Cassidy Turley's David Lebenstein
Class A office makes up most of the space available, when NPOs need B or C buildings, he tell us. (He recently brokered The Bowery Residents' Committee's 33-year, 104k SF consolidation move to 127 W. 25th St.) There are many large facility users on the ground now, including schools, museums, and social-service programs. Some of these NPOs need a private entrance and branding, but not every landlord can commit to that. So it's time to think outside the box when it comes to space, like Redeemer Presbyterian Church, which purchased a 40k SF parking garage at 150 W. 83rd St. for its new community center and worship space. The story of Exodus has been amended to include having exact change on the way out. (Suggested motto: For anyone who's ever spent 40 days and 40 nights looking for a parking spot . . .)
Cassidy Turley's Edward Kent, Robair Reichenstein, David Lebenstein, and Debra Wollens
Among David's clients is the School Construction Authority, which is suffering an acute shortage of educational space in Queens, thanks to a new influx of residents in neighborhoods like Elmhurst, Corona, and Richmond Hills (here, he's with team members Edward Kent, Robair Reichenstein, and Debra Wollens). David gained insight into city communities by working in former Mayor John Lindsay's office, and chaired a local Queens Community Board during the mid-70s, giving him an even more local view. He founded his own NPO public policy group in '74, and helped create NYC's first commercial condos for non-profits at 666 Broadway in '86.