Yeshiva University has been selling off its real estate assets these last few years.
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A former Yeshiva University lecture hall in midtown Manhattan is to be demolished and replaced by a twenty three story residential building by New York City developer Alex Forkosh. The building was part of the University’s women’s school, Stern College.
The property at 237 East 34th Street will be 210 foot tall glass tower. The new building is being designed by C3D Architecture.
The ground floor of the building will have 6, 282 square feet of retail space. This is in addition to the 84, 256 square feet which will be used for 108 residential units. In addition, another 7, 002 square feet of common space will be available to residents throughout the building.
Located above the Second Ave subway line between Second and Third Avenues, the property came with an unusual stipulation that would allow the MTA to appropriate a part of the lot so that an underground entrance to the subway can be constructed. Work on the subway line is expected to continue long after the building becomes occupied.
Construction on the project is expected to be completed sometime in 2016.
The property was sold by the University in 2012 for $15.5 million.
This was one of a number of properties that Yeshiva University sold off in the last few years. On May 21st it finalized a sale, begun in March, of ten residential buildings near its campus in the Washington heights neighborhood of Manhattan to the real estate mogul Rubin “Ruby” Schron for $72.5 million. A week later it sold two more of its properties, both six story apartment buildings, also in Washington Heights, for $16 million.
Yeshiva University has been divesting itself of many of its properties because it is in desperate need of an infusion of cash, as it has been operating at a budget deficit the last few years. It lost a reported $107.5 million in 2010, $46.7 million in 2011 and $105.9 million in 2012.
While this can be, at least in part, attributed to a drop in donations due to the great recession, the school was one of the victims of the corrupt and convicted investor Bernard Madoff. It is said to have lost as much as $100 million to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Yeshiva University President Richard Joel recently said of his school’s divestments that the sales represented a “tremend
ous return on the University’s original investment, ” and that the sales provided an “infusion of cash that will be used to strengthen our financial position.”
Alex Forkosh is the proprietor of Forkosh Development Group LLC, a New York residential construction company founded in 2006.
Founded in 1886, New York’s Yeshiva University has separate undergraduate colleges, for men and women, graduate programs, as well as a law school and a medical school. Originally located in the Lower East Side, the university combines Orthodox Jewish education with studies in modern sciences and liberal arts. The fully accredited institution also has a rabbinical school for the training of Orthodox Rabbis.