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NEW YORK CITY-It took a year, but the American Red Cross of Greater New York has found a new home. After selling its long-time headquarters at 150 Amsterdam Ave. for $72 million last year, the organization embarked on a search for a more tech-savvy base of operations and has acquired the 100,000-sf 514 West 49th St. for $33 million. Renovations will cost approximately $30 million. The Red Cross had been at the Amsterdam address since 1963.

Studley led the search process as well as arranged the transaction on behalf of the Red Cross. Ira Schuman was the broker. The four-story site will be renovated and upgraded including the installation of high-tech communications and information technology systems. A total of 140 employees will move to the site in the fall of 2006. The new headquarters will also accommodate hundreds of volunteers who are part of a 3,600-volunteer force. According to a spokesperson, when the search process began last year, the organization was evaluating all options, including leasing or buying, and was exploring various Manhattan neighborhood, not just the West Side.

Theresa Bischoff, CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater New York says the new building enables will use “state-of-the-art technology and facilities, to help the nine million New Yorkers to prepare and respond to any kind of disaster and emergency.” She points out that the new location will also provide improved transportation access, directly onto the West Side Highway, to achieve better response times.

Architectural firm Gensler will oversee the renovation process that will include creating a technologically advanced Emergency Communications Center which will operate 24/7 and establishing an Emergency Operations Center so the ARC can respond to any future major disasters and coordinate with agencies of the city, state and federal governments. Other work will be completed on classrooms and training centers to potentially double the capacity for lifesaving skills instructional courses and a large garage will be constructed to dispatch emergency vehicles to disaster sites with personnel and supplies.

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