Dorms over Condos? Naftali Makes the Case
In fall 2015, 770 lucky Pace University students will move into a brand-new residence hall at 33 Beekman, next door to one of Manhattan’s premier apartment developments, Forest City Ratner’s New York by Gehry. (Sure that building seems posh, but does it have RAs?) Developer Miki Naftali (whom we snapped at Bisnow’s NYC Multifamily Summit in 4 World Trade Center, a few blocks from his project) tells us Naftali Group’s project topped out two weeks ago and will offer amazing views for students in its 34 floors.
The company secured the site two years ago after Pace approached Naftali and JV partner SL Green. At the time, Miki wasn’t comfortable building condos Downtown (though that's all anyone will build now). Still, the deal has advantages for the developer, he tells us. Pace is leasing the property (rendered above) for 30 years triple-net-lease, and a steady, long-term income stream like that isn’t something a resi developer comes by every day.
Here’s the westward view of the World Trade Center and the Woolworth Building. While many universities handle their own development, a lease arrangement moves the cost off its balance sheet, Miki says. He tells us his daughters are in college, and he also likes the idea of sprucing up drab dorm design. (That assumes it's possible to improve upon our giant poster of Mr. T.) Residential and hotel architect Gene Kaufman designed the building, and Andres Escobar handled the interior.