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Manhattan Community College Takes Space Near Terrorist-Damaged Fiterman Hall | Observer

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Manhattan Community College Takes Space Near Terrorist-Damaged Fiterman Hall

By Dana Rubinstein • 10/07/08 10:44pm

The Indiana limestone-encrusted Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, which the city calls one of “lower Manhattan’s most architecturally and historically significant edifices” in its landmark designation report, has a new tenant.

The Borough of Manhattan Community College has signed a lease for the more than 40,000 square feet on the eighth floor in the 22-story confection, built by the Cunard Steamship Line for its headquarters in 1921 on what was once known as Steamship Row.

BMCC, one of the lesser-known Sept. 11 victims, could certainly use the space. In 1993, Miles and Shirley Fiterman donated a 15-floor, 375,000-square-foot office building at 30 West Broadway to the school, perhaps the largest private donation ever made to a community college in the United States at the time. By Sept. 11, 2001, when the original 7 World Trade Center’s collapse irreparably damaged the building, the school had nearly completed renovations on its 42 classrooms.

Since that day, the school, one of 23 within CUNY, has grown from 17,000 to 22,000 students, yet has been struggling to figure out how to allocate space, according to Sunil Gupta, BMCC’s dean of continuing education and workforce development.

“It’s been a very tough situation,” he said. The school has a main campus at 199 Chambers, and a number of other satellite campuses throughout the city.

The space at 25 Broadway will house the Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, which serves more than 11,000 students. Its former home, at 70 Murray Street, will remain in the BMCC portfolio.

“We’ll still be short of space,” Mr. Gupta said.

CB Richard Ellis negotiated the lease on behalf of both the college and landlord, 25 Broadway Realty LLC. According to CoStar, asking rents are about $40 a square foot.

Meanwhile, just a handful of blocks west, the shell of Fiterman Hall remains. “It’s kind of an eyesore,” Mr. Gupta said

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Filed Under: Home, Real Estate, Commercial Breaks, Manhattan Community College

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