NYU gets Kaplan building,
rest of Puck
by Amisha Padnani
NYU, one of the city's
largest landowners, has acquired two new pieces of property: the top
floors of the Puck Building at 295 Lafayette St., and 20 Cooper Square
at East 5th Street, President John Sexton told the University Senate on
NYU, which signed a 15-year lease for three floors of the Puck Building in
June 2003, has since been negotiating with the building's owner, Kushner
Companies, to secure the rest of the building, Sexton said.
Despite Sexton's announcement at the Senate meeting, there remains some
doubt that the university's deal with Kushner Companies is final, as
university spokesman John Beckman wouldn't entirely confirm the
"There are promising developments to expanding our presence in the Puck
Building," Beckman wrote in an e-mail. "In addressing the issue at [the]
Senate meeting, John Sexton was expressing his optimism about the future
of the building."
The Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is slated to move into Puck's
second and third floors on May 15, but plans for the rest of the
building are up in the air. The journalism department was originally
scheduled to move to Puck, but those plans were indefinitely halted
after the university began a study into the overlap between the
department, part of the College of Arts and Science, and the Steinhardt
School of Education's culture and communications department.
Shonna Keogan, spokeswoman for the Faculty of Arts and Science, said that
department is now considering relocating to Puck.
"We're conducting feasibility studies," Keogan said. "We're checking out
the space to see how much there is and finding out what our space needs
are to see if there's a good match."
NYU purchased 20 Cooper Square in late March from Colonnade Properties.
The seven-story building has about 150,000 square feet, 32,250 of which
are unoccupied and available to NYU immediately, Beckman said.
The university is still mulling how to use the building, Beckman said, but
according to Community Board 2 District Manager Arthur Strickler, the
zoning rules for Cooper Square do not allow educational institutions to
have classrooms in that area.
While Strickler said NYU intends to apply for a change of zoning to allow
for classroom use, Sergio Reyes, the building's superintendent, said the
university plans to use the building for office space.
The building houses several companies, including the test-prep service
Kaplan, the public affairs firm The Bravo Group, Kang and Lee
Advertising, DiMassimo Brand Advertising and the marketing firm Mosaica,
which occupy five floors.
Although the companies are under a lease, Reyes said he believes NYU will
want the tenants to leave once their leases expire.
Yet representatives of The Bravo Group say they do not have any plans to
"We are satisfied with the space and the location, fully intend to honor
the term of our lease and look forward to having NYU as our new
landlord," said Daisy Expósito-Ulla, chairman and chief executive of The
Bravo Group. •
Issue date: 04.27.2004