Summer is almost over as evidenced yesterday by the crowds of NYU students in Greenwich Village. With a little help from their parents they moved into dorms and apartments in Greenwich Village. Yesterday was NYU "Move -in Day."
Both NYU and Columbia have been building real estate empires in their respective Manhattan neighborhoods. Both private non profit institutions have real estate holdings worth more than half a billion dollars. Columbia ownes more than 7,000 apartments and it's real estate is worth approximately $635 million. This number excludes the value of wharehoused property it has not yet converted to educational use.
Columbia has ambitious plans to expand the campus from Morningside Heights to include 18 acres from 129th St. to 133rd Street in the Manhattanville section of West Harlem.
The expansion plan will take 25 years with phase 1 to be completed by 2015. The new campus will utilize and convert some existing manufacturing plants in the Manhattanville industrial section including the old Studebaker plant. Open public roads and spaces through the Manhattanville campus will connect West Harlem to the Hudson river waterfront.
While there has been growing community opposition both school's strategy is to build prestige by buying up real estate in an effort to recruit top faculty and students from around the world by offering apartment housing perks in Manhattan.
Columbia University bought the first 15 floors, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments in a new luxury condo at 455 Central Park West. They paid $45.38 million for 53 luxury condos an average of about $1 million per apartment.
Many community leaders feel both these private non profit institutions are benefiting at tax payers expense by reducing the city tax revenue by taking so many buildings off the city's tax rolls. There is no doubt that Columbia and NYU bring cultural, scientific and intellectual prestige to NYC.
Many graduates will choose to live in NYC as their careers will be here. They will pay city and state income tax. They might even start whole new industries. They will buy real estate. Manhattan attracts graduates from top schools from all over the country and abroad. More than 50% of Wharton Business School's class of 2007 have moved to Manhattan.
To all the new students entering NYU, Columbia and all the other fine undergraduate, graduate, law schools and med schools throughout NYC, I wish you all much success.
Parents from all over the country are investing in Manhattan real estate while their children are attending schools here. Many parents are buying condos for their adult children and for themselves and other family members. For many it is a great investment. Children get housing while in school and starting their careers, the parents get a great asset and a pied-a-terre in Manhattan.
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