For Alchemy Properties and Xavier High School, a deal ruined by the market collapse has led to mutually beneficial collaboration?Alchemy is building 35XV, its most expensive condo project to date, and Xavier is getting a new school that will comfortably fit its entire student body. In 2008, Xavier, located on West 16th Street, planned to sell its air rights to the buyer of a union hall next to its campus in order to beef up its endowment. Tishman Hotel & Realty was set to build a hotel and condo (which really angered the neighbors), but that deal fell apart when the market went south. When the hall returned to the market in 2010, Xaiver's board decided that if they were going to sell their air rights, they wanted more than just money.
So, according to the Journal, Xavier partnered with Alchemy, a developer the school was quite familiar with, as Alchemy had put up a condo across the street. Alchemy bought the school's air rights for $13.7 million, and they agreed to let Xavier build a new, larger school on the site of union hall, which the developer bought for $16.6 million. This worked out just swimmingly for both parties: the money from the air rights sale covered the cost of Xavier's new building, and because a school qualifies as a community space, Alchemy was able to build a bigger condo building. It seems like the only people who are not happy are the neighborhood preservationists who would have liked to see the union hall preserved. Can't win 'em all.
· A School Takes Shape With Condos Above [WSJ]
· 35 West 15th Street coverage [Curbed]