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School of Visual Arts combines theater, office space in Chelsea.

Colliers ABR, Inc. arranged an aggregate of 74,000 s/f in two back-to-back lease transactions for the School of Visual Arts (SVA).

The properties include a theatre and an office building in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.

In the first transaction, the School of Visual Arts signed a 26-year lease for a 20,000- square-foot theatre located at 333 West 23rd Street. The building holds two movie theatres and the school plans to start using it as a venue for lectures, film screenings and other public events.

Neil Lipinski, senior managing director and principal of Colliers ABR, Inc. represented the School of Visual Arts in both transactions. Tim Kucha of Colliers ABR, Inc. assisted Lipinski in the theatre deal. The theatre property owner, Mutual Redevelopment Houses, Inc. negotiated directly.

"After five years of canvassing the market, we identified a remarkable theatre on West 23rd Street, perfect for the School of Visual Arts," said Lipinski. "We learned that the current tenant of the theatre had just renewed its lease, but would be willing to terminate its lease under certain conditions. The landlord was also interested in having SVA as a long term replacement tenant. So the challenge was to simultaneously execute a termination agreement with the existing tenant and a new long term lease with the landlord."

"The acquisition of this theatre greatly enhances SVA's ability to continue the process of expanding and diversifying the College's curricula," say Dr. Christopher Cyphers, Provost, School of Visual Arts. "It also satisfies a longstanding need for a space to accommodate large gatherings of the campus community, and we hope will create opportunities to partner with many of the City's cultural institutions."

Brendan Keany, general manager of Mutual Redevelopment Houses, Inc., said of the agreement, "We are proud to be associated with the School of Visual Arts, which is a respected and well known institution in Manhattan. We think that their use of the theatre on West 234 Street will enhance both the School of Visual Arts as well as the community at large."

In the second transaction, the School of Visual Arts signed a 14 1/2-year sublease for 54,000 s/f of space in an office building located at 335 W. 16th Street. The school will occupy the entire five-story building. The building will house the undergraduate fine arts department.

SVA is subleasing the space from ADT Security Services, a division of Tyco International.

CB Richard Ellis broker Michael Scimo represented ADT with colleague Dirk Hrobsky.

Lipinski added, "We're delighted that SVA will be taking occupancy of the 16th St. building in June. The department's space needs have grown to include stateof-the-art recording, editing, projection and printmaking facilities and dedicated sculpture studios with computerized milling machines. This is an ideal space for that use."

Founded in 1947, the School of Visual Arts is one of the leading colleges of art and design in the nation, granting undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines.
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Comment:School of Visual Arts combines theater, office space in Chelsea.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Mar 19, 2008
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