NYSID signs 20-year lease for 40,000 square feet in Midtown South to house college's graduate center

New York, NY - March 2, 2010 - New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) president Dr. Christopher J. Cyphers announced today that the college has signed a 20-year lease for two contiguous, 20,000 square foot floors at 401 Park Avenue South (at East 28th Street), which will be home to NYSID’s new graduate center.

The lease deal, brokered by Neil Lipinski, Principal/Senior Managing Director at Cassidy Turley, formerly Colliers ABR, along with his associates, Tim Kucha, Director, and David Lebenstein, Senior Managing Director in the Not-for-Profit practice, had been nearly six months in the making, and is the college’s first real estate acquisition in thirteen years.  The expansion of the Upper East Side institution’s campus is part of the college’s five-year strategic plan, which President Cyphers crafted with faculty, trustees, and senior administrators soon after taking office in August 2008. (right, 401 Park Avenue South)

The addition, to be known as The Graduate Center, addresses the increase in undergraduate and graduate enrollment that the school has experience in recent years.  Furthermore, the addition of several new master’s degree programs—and the need for dedicated studio space for the School’s MFA students—created a particular urgency for space adequate to the college’s growing needs.

“Our new Graduate Center at 401 Park Avenue South marks an important moment in the college’s nearly 100-year history,” said President Cyphers. “With the support and commitment of our Board of Trustees, NYSID has taken a bold and decisive step to move this great institution to the next level of excellence.  This speaks to our aspirations to build upon previous successes toward becoming a national leader in design education,” he added.

NYSID’s Graduate Center will house dedicated studio space for over 200 MFA Interior Design students, seminar rooms, a lecture hall, exhibition space, computer labs, a lighting lab, materials library, model shop, a student lounge, and faculty workspaces.  Students will benefit from an abundance of natural daylight, easy access to scores of design showrooms, including the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue, and a ten minute subway ride to NYSID’s main campus at 170 East 70th Street.

NYSID selected the  Civic, Cultural and Education (CC+E) practice of Jonathan Rose Companies as its owner’s representative early in the process to help the School assess its real estate portfolio, evaluate prospective properties, assist with team selection, and oversee the design and construction of its new graduate center. NYSID retained Gensler as architect and Turner Interiors as Construction Manager.

 “We look forward to working with NYSID in collaboration with Jonathan Rose Companies and Turner Construction on this significant project,” says Robin Klehr Avia, FIIDA, managing principal of Gensler’s New York Office. “The new Graduate Center will serve as an educational as well as inspirational space for the next generation of talented designers. NYSID’s decision to extend their reach beyond the city’s Upper East Side – into a collaborative and open loft space on Park Avenue South – is a pivotal move in the institution’s expansion plan,” she added. 

“Our firm values education and other cultural centers as the cornerstone of vibrant and connected cities,” says Jonathan F.P. Rose, founder of Jonathan Rose Companies.  “Our Civic, Cultural and Education (CC+E) practice are delighted to have worked with NYSID since the earliest visioning phases of its graduate center.”

Moreover, the college has the goal of achieving a LEED Commercial Interior rating of LEED Gold.

“Pursuing LEED certification is a top priority in the design, fit-out, and operations of our new graduate center,” added President Cyphers. “We are an institution that espouses the principles and practice of sustainable design. In addition, we will offer a master’s program in Sustainable Interior Environments in fall 2010.”

Adds Alexander C. Cortesi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees: “This is a major turning point for the School. The expansion allows us to fulfill our potential as a truly great design college.”

NYSID will occupy the second and third floors of 401 Park Avenue South, with construction occurring in two phases; the first phase is slated for completion in time for the start of the 2010-11 academic year. The second phase is scheduled to begin in February 2011.

For more information contact: Harriet Weintraub hweintraub@hwpr.com, Stuart Cohen scohen@hwpr.com or Brent Peterson BPeterson@nysid.edu.

Founded in 1916, the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) is New York’s only private, not-for-profit college devoted exclusively to interior design education and related disciplines. NYSID’s guiding principle is that the interior environment is a fundamental element of human welfare, and the college is committed to actively improving, through design, the quality of life for all segments of humanity. This ideal is put into practice by a dedicated faculty of well-known designers, architects, art historians, and authorities in the field who guide a diverse student body of over 750 full- and part-time students.

NYSID offers certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs in the field of interior design, design history and theory, and sustainable design. The college is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and NYSID’s BFA is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

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