King’s secures one third of housing in Financial District, ends contract with Ludlow
King’s signed a lease to secure 15 apartments in each of the two luxury high-rise buildings, according to Dean of Students David Leedy. Most of the apartments are large studios, about 800 to 1000 square feet with separate living and sleeping areas and most are equipped with a washer and dryer.
95 Wall Street is right next to a Duane Reade and 10 Hanover Square neighbors a Starbucks. The two buildings are about one block apart and about three blocks from the East River.
Recognizing that Ludlow is not the ideal living situation for guys at King’s, the college plans to end the Ludlow housing contract and sublet the apartments they have for the remaining year on the lease.“We want students to be happy. We want to listen to them,” Eric Bennett, vice president of Student Development at King’s, said.
The two spaces at 10 Hanover Square and 95 Wall Street will only account for one third of the total housing required for King's. As for the rest of housing, King’s plans to keep Clark Street and renew the leases at The Herald Towers and The Vogue.
One of the main goals in bringing housing closer to the King’s campus is the need for community; this is also why Houses will remain together.
Leedy met with the house presidents to discuss where each house will be Tuesday, Mar. 26. The decision was made that QE1, Barton, Churchill, Lewis and Bonheoffer will be living in Midtown, Thatcher and Truth will be living at Clark Street and SBA, Ten Boom and Reagan will be living in the Financial District.
In an effort to promote community, King’s also is hoping for more upperclassmen to move back on to campus. Freshmen will have priority when it comes to housing, however, approximately half of the beds available in housing next year will be for upperclassmen.
With the addition of the two buildings and the break from Ludlow, the cost of campus housing will increase by $350 from the past year, totaling $11,950 for the 2013-14 academic year. This past year, house exec team members benefited from a $1,000 discount on the yearly housing cost, and although the school is trying to increase the discount, according to Leedy, there is nothing finalized.
Leedy explained that the hope was, and still is, to move all of King’s housing down into lower Manhattan, however there are many variables that need to line up in order for that to happen. One of the factors that made the search difficult is that for a college to legally rent apartments there need to be sprinklers throughout the building.
Another factor is that many of the buildings in Lower Manhattan, and Manhattan in general, receive public financing through bonds. Because of this, apartments must be available for the populous to rent and cannot be leased to corporations.
Leedy explained that he, along with many others including Shelli Cline, Dan Woerner, and Duanne Moeller “have scoured lower Manhattan.” King’s also hired the city’s largest brokerage firm, City Habitats, to assist them in the search. The school’s agent also participated in this search. “He’s spent hundreds of hours and I’ve spent hundreds of hours,” Leedy said.
The search is not over, however. Leedy called securing the two buildings a “small step” but “a great first step”—a move in the right direction. He also stressed that the housing plan currently underway for next year is temporary, “a one year solution.” Because of this he asks students to be “flexible.”
Leedy explained that the ultimate goal is for King’s to have its own building—either buy a building or sign a long-term lease so that “it’s ours” and “we can take over the whole space.”
“My work has only begun,” Leedy said. He expressed optimism about what the college can achieve for housing within the coming year in moving toward a more permanent solution.