The southwest corner of 57th and Second Avenue is dominated by two low lying buildings -- PS 59 and the High School of Art and Design. Above the schools, blue skies that had developers seeing the potential for green.
In order to unlock that space, the World-Wide Group teamed up with the city in a deal that includes three new public schools. The first is the new PS 59 located a few blocks away.
"In a certain sense, it was like a missing tooth in the development of the Upper East Side," said David Lowenfeld, Executive Vice President, World-Wide Holdings.
Then comes the private part of this public private partnership -- a 59-story residential tower with retail space below, including a Whole Foods supermarket.
"Normally if the city built the public school building it would pay for itself directly. But in this case we're using the income being provided by the developer to pay for the cost of the school building," said Smarr.
"I think that what the city gets out of it is both new facilities that meet the needs of their student body going into the future. And it also gets a stream of revenue going into the future," said Lowenfeld.