Tishman Speyer completes agreement with St. Francis College for 255,091 s/f at The Wheeler

June 01, 2021 - Front Section

Brooklyn, NY Tishman Speyer completed a long-term agreement with St. Francis College to create a newly-designed and fully-customized campus at The Wheeler.

As part of a 30-year lease, Saint Francis will occupy 255,091 s/f of reimagined contemporary educational space across the 5th, 6th and 7th floors of The Wheeler, Tishman Speyer’s 10-story tower situated atop Macy’s renovated downtown department store.  Measuring 90,000 s/f each with 16-ft. heights, the three floorplates are among the most expansive in the area.

St. Francis’ campus will also feature 5,000 s/f of programmable outdoor space on the Wheeler’s 5th and 7th floor terraces and a dedicated entrance at 181 Livingston St.

St. Francis will open the doors to its increasingly diverse student body in September 2022.

Founded by Franciscan Brothers in 1859 as St. Francis Academy, the first private school in the diocese of Brooklyn, St. Francis College has maintained a steady and growing presence in the neighborhood ever since.  The college currently educates approximately 2,700 students, the majority of whom come from Brooklyn and the surrounding boroughs.

“St. Francis is a long-time pillar of the Brooklyn community,” said Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer. “We are thrilled to be their partner in this new chapter.  With its seamless blend of old and new construction, The Wheeler speaks to both St. Francis’ history in the neighborhood, as well as its commitment to modern education.”

“For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has demonstrated a commitment to providing an unmatched private education in the heart of New York City,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., president of St. Francis College. “This is a historic moment to completely re-envision our campus and meet the needs of our community, and we are thrilled to continue offering a first-rate, affordable education in a modern, flexible and welcoming learning space.”

Along with the move, St. Francis College is introducing a new slate of academic programs, specifically in disciplines that springboard students into jobs in growing career fields, and is expanding opportunities for remote and online learning. The relocation is part of a new initiative, SFC Forward, that seeks to deepen the College’s commitment to champion a diverse, equitable and inclusive community throughout its curricula, programming, hiring, and more.

The Wheeler is the product of a unique partnership between Tishman Speyer and Macy’s, which tapped the developer in August 2015 to help reimagine and fully renovate its historic Brooklyn department store.  As part of this process, the iconic retailer consolidated its operations into the first four shopping floors and lower levels of its main Art Deco building built in 1930 and an interconnected cast-iron structure built by developer Andrew Wheeler in the 1870s.

Tishman Speyer led the preservation and restoration of the original Macy’s Art Deco façade building as well as the Wheeler building’s distinctive Mansard roof and cast-iron façade.  In collaboration with the project’s design architect, Joey Shimoda of Shimoda Design Group, Tishman Speyer preserved the building’s original setbacks and incorporated a number of additional setbacks into the new construction.

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