Transwestern Represents Charter Network in Transactions Totaling 125,000 SF
January 15, 2021
New York City – Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) and Democracy Prep Public Schools (DPPS) announced two transactions totaling 125,000 square feet to support the charter network’s major expansion plans in the Bronx. DPPS will launch its first-ever ground-up construction for two new collocated schools at 1000 Westchester Ave. that will ultimately serve almost 1,000 students, pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The new school will begin enrollment for the fall of 2021, with the primary space being completed for the 2023-2024 academic year.
This significant expansion includes the construction of two new, collocated elementary schools and temporary incubation space that DPPS will occupy while the development is completed. In the first transaction, DPPS entered a 96,000-square-foot leasehold condominium agreement for the two new elementary schools to be constructed at 1000 Westchester Ave. In the second transaction, DPPS leased approximately 30,000 square feet in the Morris Park section of the Bronx for the 2021-2022 academic year while its permanent site is built.
“We are thrilled to be expanding the thriving Democracy Prep network at a time when civic engagement and education are more important than ever,” said Natasha Trivers, Chief Executive Officer, Democracy Prep. “We look forward to serving a new community and enriching the lives of even more scholars.”
The new school at 1000 Westchester Ave. will mark the 23rd school in the Democracy Prep Public School network. DPPS seeks to transform the lives of its students and raise the expectations for public schools across the nation by fostering civic engagement, data-driven decision making, rigorous academics, and more. The new building was made possible by developer and state funds.
Transwestern’s Lindsay Ornstein, Stephen Powers, Arthur Skelskie, Jake Cinti, Alexander Smith and Ginny Durfee provided tenant advisory services to Democracy Prep. The deal structure offered significant savings by utilizing the organization’s tax-exempt status.
“Democracy Prep’s new schools will deliver high-caliber academic opportunities to a high-need area of the Bronx, which shows tremendous dedication to the children and families of the neighborhood,” said Ornstein. “We are pleased to have completed these complicated, interrelated transactions that met the school’s enrollment and budgetary drivers with incubation space, rent phase-in options, turnkey construction and a leasehold condominium structure, all of which combine to substantially reduce upfront costs, reduce real estate taxes and manage cashflow as enrollment ramps up.”
The permanent, collocated elementary schools will occupy the lower level through sixth floor of 1000 Westchester Ave., reducing overhead costs and maximizing space efficiencies by providing shared access to areas such as the gymnasium, library and cafeteria, as well as a play space on the building’s rooftop. The building will have a dedicated entrance on Fox and Simpson streets, with additional prominent frontage along Westchester Avenue. The build-to-suit, ground-up construction, which is being developed by Bolivar Development, will create a state-of-the-art education environment located within New York City’s Community School District 12. The site is adjacent to the 2 – 5 trains and within walking distance from the 6 train.
Transwestern has extensive experience helping nonprofits of all sizes minimize occupancy costs and capitalize on the tremendous savings uniquely available to tax-exempt organizations. The Transwestern Nonprofit Advisory Services Group starts every project from a mission and program perspective and then uses that understanding to build a real estate solution that addresses key considerations for nonprofits, including tax-exempt status, deal structure, space needs, board consensus, and fundraising and financials.
About Transwestern Real Estate Services
Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) adds value for investors, owners and occupiers of all commercial property types through a comprehensive perspective and by providing solutions grounded in sound market intelligence. Part of the Transwestern companies, the firm applies a consultative approach to Agency Leasing, Asset Services, Tenant Advisory + Workplace Solutions, Capital Markets, and Research & Investment Analytics.
The privately held Transwestern companies have been delivering a higher level of personalized service and innovative real estate solutions since 1978. An integrated approach formed from fresh ideas drives value for clients across commercial real estate services, development, investment management and opportunistic programs for high-net-worth investors. The firm operates through 34 U.S. offices and global alliances with BNP Paribas Real Estate and Devencore. Learn more at transwestern.com and @Transwestern.
About Democracy Prep Public Schools
Democracy Prep’s mission is to educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. Founded in 2005 and opening its first school in 2006, Democracy Prep set out to prove what is possible for public education in America. Democracy Prep Public Schools currently operates 21 high-performing schools and one program in New York, New Jersey, Baton Rouge, Las Vegas, and San Antonio educating 6,500 citizen-scholars. The incredible growth of the scholars is possible through the tireless and dedicated work of the educators who make up the DREAM Team. For more information, please visit www.democracyprep.org and @DemocracyPrep.