For years I thought this school was a prime site for a tower next door or overhead:
The folks who live and work near Second Avenue and 57th Street are due to get a large, new neighbor.
The site of two schools on the southwest corner has been put up for sale by the city's Educational Construction Fund, an agency controlled by the mayor's office to facilitate school development through the sale of air rights.
What's on the block is a 75-year leasehold on the 62,000-square-foot site's unused development rights.
It can support a residential tower above the schools of at least 420,000 square feet as of now, with the possibility of 125,000 square feet more under certain conditions.
The corner is home to both the low-slung High School of Art & Design and PS 59. The ECF has tapped CB Richard Ellis's Darcy Stacom and Paul Leibowitz to sift offers.
Stacom said the site's location and size "create a phenomenal opportunity."
She would not speculate on price. Sources said a sale of the land — as opposed to a leasehold — would likely draw offers around $150 million.
The news comes on the heels of an agreement Stacom recently negotiated for ECF to sell the leasehold above a vacant school at 1765 First Ave. to the DeMatteis Organization and the Mattone Group. They can put up an apartment tower of 150,000 square feet.
The ECF was active in the 1970s but fell quiet after that. But Mayor Bloomberg's capital plan "says we should aggressively leverage the system's air rights, and we are strategically putting them out," ECF executive director Jamie Smarr said.