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Manhattan Loft Guy

Nov. 13, 2006 - death, taxes and private school tuition? / the politics of stay-or-go

do Manhattan private school vs. suburban public school anecdotes make a story or just sell papers?
Fascinating piece in Monday’s NY Times about parents leaving Manhattan for the idyllic schools of ‘burbville and then end up springing for private school tuition anyway. I am not going to get much not the content, as you should tread the story. There is lots of stuff there.
It seems to me that the papers often run certain stories on a cycle: first a young-adults-moving-to-‘burbs-for-cheaper-living story, followed six months later by a young-adults-moving-back-to-city-for-any-kind-of-living story. But this one is a new angle on me.
It is good as “news” because it runs counter to mass assumptions (a la a man-bites-dog story). When these stories are built on anecdotes, however, I wonder how ‘real’ they are. Has the Times come across a developing trend? Or have they just run a story that will justify the choices of Manhattan residents to stay put?
causation or coincidence?
There is one sense in which I think the history of Manhattan loft living is related to schools. I believe there was a general trend beginning ten or fifteen years ago for families with children to stay in Manhattan (rather than move to the ‘burbs for the ‘quality of life’ for their kids) because the Manhattan qualify of life not only improved, but was the subject of many news articles as starting to improve. So more people were drawn to larger apartments, often to lofts.
the lure of PS 234
More people who had the money to choose to send kids to private school instead of opting for the ‘free’ public school sin high-tax towns like Scarsdale and Great Neck decided to stay. PS 234 in Tribeca had at least some impact on this in the 1990s, as it became a ‘poser child’ school for loft-dwellers who wanted to send kids to public schools.
I suspect (no data, so don’t ask) that the typical loft buyers n the last fifteen years are younger than the typical apartment buyers, and more apt to have school-age kids. So my hypothesis is that if the quality-of-life in Manhattan had not improved for families, fewer lofts would have been developed these last 15 years.
Just a hypothesis.
touchy arguments this week in some households
Read the Times article. Fascinating stuff. I am sure there are some parents of three-year-olds who are having the stay-or-go argument this week because of that front-page article, which was the most frequently emailed article of the day on NYTimes.com.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Nov. 6, 2006 - Emily Litella and the PS 234 Annex new date is the old date (Sept 07)

The on-again-late-again schedule for the annex for Tribeca’s PS 234 is on again. The 10,000 sq ft annex is now expected to open next September, so ignore the warnings that it would not open for a year later.
Something to do with the developer’s work schedule for the condominium in which the annex will be housed. Here’s the bottom line from the Tribeca Trib, quoting PS 234 Principal Lisa Ripperger:
The current enrollment of the school is 695 students, according to Ripperger. That is over the stated capacity, but about 25 students less than the projected enrollment for the year.
The school has become squeezed for space in recent years. Two years ago the computer room was eliminated and last year the school was forced to eliminate pre-K classes. It was likely that the science or art rooms would have been lost next year if the annex were not ready.
Ripperger said they are planning to move the five kindergarten classes to the annex. She is hoping that by having more classrooms available in the main build- ing next year, they can add another 5th grade class and reduce class sizes.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Sep. 12, 2006 - nahhh, dont rush to enroll / Tribeca school construction delayed

remember those two new public schools for downtown?
The TriBeCa Tribune is reporting that two of the new schools slated for construction downtown are delayed, due to what the Mayor’s office terms “delayed funding”. (Not much of an explanation, huh?)
The 6 to 8 classroom annex for PS 234 will be in the lot just west of the school (in the 200 Chambers St condo), but will not open until Fall 2008, one year later than anticipated. The Beekman St school, with room for 600 students, will not open until Fall 2009, again a year later than planned.
no funding delays for condos
Meanwhile, new housing development is not facing any “funding delays” (unless they don’t sell; not a problem to date). Nearly 1,000 new units will be ready for occupancy before these schools are ready. The new developments are at 101 Warren, 200 Chambers, and 88 Leonard, all of which (theoretically) feed into PS 234, which is already over-capacity.
Maybe they should only sell to families with really young children, or much older children…. (Just kidding.)
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Jul. 12, 2006 - another new school for Tribeca?

A new public Intermediate School in Tribeca??
I missed the original mention in the Post, but The Real Deal credits the Post as reporting that the City is “considering” (weasel word, that!) opening an Intermediate School in Tower 5 in the WTC complex (where the Deutsche Bank building is still standing, 130 Liberty Street). No word on when this might be. (Intermediate Schools typically cover grades 6 – 8.)
By my count, that is three public school sites under discussion in Tribeca (with the two discussed in my post back in March), if you count this far south as Tribeca.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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Sandy Mattingly is Manhattan Loft Guy; now with The Corcoran Group (http://corcoran.com/ ; but see the disclaimer at the bottom of the page), he can be reached most easily at Sandy@ManhattanLoftGuy.com or 917.902.2491, and followed on Twitter @ManhattnLoftGuy (note "mis-spelling"). After 7+ years, the blog has moved. Links here on RealTown will work for the foreseeable future, but new posts (and all the old content) has migrated to ManhattanLoftGuy.com.

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