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By Brian J. Pape, AIA

When George Capsis got a firsthand look at the new residence for NYU’s president Andrew Hamilton, he experienced the 4,200 square foot penthouse floor area, plus large terraces facing east and south, ideally located, fully functional, and freshly remodeled. It has been owned by NYU for many years in the historic 1929 apartment building at 37 Washington Square West.

The penthouse has served as residence and event space for fund-raising and hosting VIPs, getting plenty of heavy wear and tear. The 4BR, 4.5 bath property was extensively renovated in preparation for the new president’s family (wife and three grown children)— including new windows, heating and air-conditioning system, electrical and plumbing upgrades, kitchen cabinets and appliances, and even some walls and staircase changes. For any-one that has experienced such extensive NYC remodeling, the $1.1 million budget could be a bargain.

Columbia University spent $20 million over ten years ago on its president’s residence; Yale revamped theirs for $17 million.  A Greenwich Village penthouse could easily be valued at $10-15 million, or rented at $30,000 per month. This is a property that NYU has decided to cherish, and given the escalating real estate values, it will get a handsome return on its investment.

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