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NEW YORK CITY-A one-million-sf mixed-use project on East 57th Street in Manhattan will be built around a pair of new school buildings in a public-private partnership between developer World-Wide Group, the city’s School Construction Authority and the state’s Educational Construction Fund. The MXD will also include 170,000 sf of retail space and a 59-story residential tower.

Scheduled for completion in 2012, the MXD is the second phase of a two-part project that has already borne fruit in the form of a temporary home for P.S. 59 on East 63d Street. The converted nursing dormitory, where schools chancellor Joel Klein and others unveiled the MXD design yesterday, was renovated by World-Wide in time for the start of classes last month and is the city’s first school building in accordance with the SCA’s “green” guidelines. When the new P.S. 59 opens as part of the East 57th project, the East 63rd site will be used as a new, 500-seat facility in School District 2.

World-Wide will spend an estimated $200 million to construct the new, 730-seat P.S. 59 and the new 1,400-seat location for the High School of Art and Design on a 1.5-acre site at 250 E. 57th St., located at the southwest corner of 57th and Second Avenue, according to a release. The new schools, replacing existing facilities on the 1.5-acre site, will be located at the corner of 56th Street and Second Avenue.

Noting that the city’s growth has posed a challenge in finding space to accommodate the increasing student population, Klein said at yesterday’s presentation that the project was “emblematic of out-of-the-box thinking. We’re able to get new school buildings through private investment.” He said that including the East 63rd building, the project would add a total of 830 new classroom seats, part of the Bloomberg administration’s plan to add 63,000 seats to the system citywide.

The two new school buildings are being financed through tax-exempt bonds issued by ECF. World-Wide will repay the bonds in exchange for air rights over the schools, and is leasing the East 57th site from ECF for 75 years, according to the release.

The MXD’s residential component will be approximately 320 units, divided between for-sale and rental. Its retail component will include a 40,000-sf Whole Foods Market. Lead architect on the East 57th project is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and SOM partner Roger Duffy noted that this marks the first time his firm has worked on a public school.

State Sen. Liz Kruger expressed the hope during yesterday’s presentation that the 250 E. 57th project would serve as a blueprint for future partnerships between developers and education agencies. “We need to do more models like this,” said Kruger, adding that as she and other legislators face the prospect of cutting billions of dollars from state spending, she will keep this in mind. “I take the position that in bad economic times is when you want to focus on infrastructure,” she said. “Because when we come out of this bad time, look what we will have gained.”

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