Volume 22, Number 06 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 26 - July 2, 2009.
Claremont’s high school deal on Church looks to be over
By Julie Shapiro
Claremont Prep appears likely to back out of its lease at 100 Church St.
Claremont had planned to open a 200,000-square-foot middle and high school at 100 Church in the fall of 2010. Claremont announced the 20-year lease on the space last March and showed parents designs of the expansion, which included a pool, two N.C.A.A.-size basketball courts and a black box theater.
But sometime since then, the plans went awry.
“There was a problem,” said P.D. Cagliastro, spokesperson for Claremont, but she declined to say what went wrong and she did not confirm that 100 Church was officially off the table.
A source familiar with the school said she heard Claremont is in negotiations for another location Downtown. The New York Observer reported Tuesday that Claremont was looking at leasing space in 25 Broadway, the Cunard building, instead of 100 Church, but Cagliastro would not confirm that.
The source said the problem with 100 Church was with the planned rooftop addition. Claremont hoped to build a new 23rd floor atop the building for a semi-enclosed outdoor space.
The Sapir Organization, owner of 100 Church, did not return a call for comment.
“We will have a decision made by the end of the month,” Cagliastro said. “If it’s not [100 Church], there will be another one.”
Asking rent at 100 Church was $40 a square foot, and the entire project was slated to cost about $30 million, the school said in March.
Claremont scheduled a press tour of the new 100 Church space for the beginning of last April, shortly after the lease announcement, but cancelled the tour at the last minute citing insurance reasons and never rescheduled it.
If the 100 Church deal falls through, it will not prevent Claremont from opening its first ninth grade class this fall as planned in its current location on Broad St. Claremont currently has only middle, elementary and preschool classes but is expanding into a high school as well.
If Claremont cannot find additional space Downtown and get it ready in time for the 2010 school year, Claremont’s Broad St. building could also house the fledgling high school for an additional year, with ninth and 10th graders, Cagliastro said.
“But we don’t think it will come to that,” she said.
One space that Claremont hasn’t considered is the former Sports Museum of America at 26 Broadway. The Dept. of Education is close to leasing part of the museum’s space for a school, but more space will likely remain. Still, Cagliastro said Claremont saw 26 Broadway as the D.O.E.’s space and was not looking at it.