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The Cooper Union

Location: Manhattan, New York
Client: The Cooper Union
Services: Land Use and Planning, Project Feasibility, Proposals & Transactions

Washington Square Partners represented The Cooper Union - one of the nation's leading architecture and engineering schools - in creating a redevelopment plan and then a land-use plan for its properties on Astor Place and Third Avenue in the East Village area of Manhattan. The rezoning proposal was ultimately successful despite significant controversy in a traditionally anti-development neighborhood. The plan included design guidelines and was developed to provide sufficient flexibility to allow The Cooper Union to realize both short and long-term goals. Washington Square Partners supervised a broad range of consultants to achieve this result.

In the short term, to fulfill Cooper Union's need for revenue for the institution, WSP negotiated a long term lease with the Related Companies for development of a parking lot that resulted in immediate income to the institution without precluding future options. To fulfill Cooper Union's need for 21st century space that would enable the institution to continue to achieve its academic goals, WSP assisted Cooper Union with the redevelopment of a two story academic building designed by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne. To fulfill Cooper Union's need to increase revenue through means compatibility with its mission, the plan allowed the flexibility for a long term lease with Minskoff for an office development that replaced the existing academic building once the new academic building was completed.

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