In June 2006, the Fund revealed that it had designated locallybased World Wide Group to be the developer for the redevelopmenthere, which currently houses the High School for Art and Design.The project will include a new high school designed by SkidmoreOwings & Merrill. The project will also include a newelementary school, approximately 200,000 sf of retail space, and a488,000-sf, 300-unit residential tower containing affordable andmarket-rate housing. In 2006, plans were to begin construction inlate 2008. James Cullen, head of Anderson Kill's real estate andconstruction practice, tells GlobeSt.com that they hope to startconstruction by September.

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As GlobeSt.com previously reported, the mixed-use project isexpected to cost $500million, and Cullen tells GlobeSt.com that that number isvery much "in the ballpark". The High School for Art and Designwill gain 40% more space than it has at present, incorporating anart gallery to display students' work and significant upgrades toits studios and labs, according to a prepared statement.

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Under the development plan, as GlobeSt.com previously reported,the developer will receive a 75-year lease of the air rights withinwhich the apartment tower and retail space will be constructed. Theincome from this lease will finance the construction of the newschools, also being undertaken by the developer. The two schoolswill not tap into taxpayers dollars, and the lease will produce a75-year stream of income that may be used for similar public schoolprojects, according to a prepared release. In total, the air rightslease agreement has a capital value in excess of $4.2 billion.

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As GlobeSt.com previously reported, in the first phase ofconstruction, World Wide will focus on redeveloping the High Schoolof Art and Design and Public School 59, the two schools currentlylocated on the site. Phase II will focus on the mixed-use componentof the project. An estimated 20% of the 320-residential units willbe affordable housing. Phase II can not start until Phase I iscompleted, so the anticipated completion date for Phase II is2015.

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According to information found on the Fund's website, thecurrent school facilities on the site date back to the 1950s andare outmoded. Cullen tells GlobeSt.com that it is "ironic that ithouses the High School for Art and Design."

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The project would require the temporary relocation of P.S. 59 toanother site for nearly three years during construction of the newschool facilities, however Cullen tells GlobeSt.com that the HighSchool for Art and Design would remain in its current facilityuntil construction of the new school facilities is complete. Thetemporary relocation site for P.S. 59 is located at 213 E. 63rd St.between Second and Third avenues. Cullen explains that thetemporary relocation site wasn't previously a school, it was turnedinto a school and "that site will continue to serve as permanentswing space, if other schools need to be renovated oroverhauled."

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He explains that the air rights leases are "a boon to New YorkCity on multiple fronts--educational infrastructure, housing stockand livability. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to helpthe City maximize its air rights assets."

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This is the second new development commenced by the EducationalConstruction Fund in the last 18 months, the first being asimilarly structured deal to build a new 540-seat 80,000-sf$45-million middle school and 241,000-sf apartment and retailcomplex on East 91st Street that includes 155 cooperativeapartments. Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C. represented the Fund inboth transactions. Construction for the project began in April2007, GlobeSt.com has learned. That mixed-use development by theDeMatteis Organizations and the Mattone Group is expected to reach"substantial completion" by early 2009.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.