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Downtown Express: "Pace University embarks on $190-million makeover"


Downtown Express: "Pace University embarks on $190-million makeover"

Pace University is retrofitting its Lower Manhattan campus to provide future scholars an edge in the competitive job market of the future, and the more-than-century-old school will invest a whopping $190 million in expanding and modernizing the university’s dual Downtown properties.

The inaugural, $45 million thrust of Pace’s three-phase master plan is tailored towards providing collaborative spaces on campus for the university’s population of resident scholars, who have transformed the institution from what was once largely a commuter college in to a place where students both live and learn, according to Pace University President Stephen Friedman

“If you go back to the year 2000, Pace in New York City had 500 residential students — everyone else was a commuter — and now there are 2,600 residential students,” Friedman said. “So one of our main points of focus is on students and giving them places to collaborate and work together.”

The work will see the first floor of the university’s flagship, citadel-like property at One Pace Plaza undergo a complete redesign, with new accommodations including a welcome center, event spaces, student common areas, learning spaces, and study areas.

One Pace Plaza was originally built in the 1960s, with a closed, Brutalist style of architecture designed to provide students with a quiet sanctuary shut off from the hubbub of the overwhelmingly commercial Downtown area, according to Friedman.

But just as the school has changed since the turn of the century, so too has Downtown, and the building’s façade will be altered with new windows in order to let in the redefined neighborhood’s new vitality.

“What we’re doing now is really opening up One Pace Plaza to what’s become an incredibly vibrant and diverse Lower Manhattan,” the Pace president said.

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