NEW YORK — The Fashion Institute of Technology has agreed to purchase a Midtown Manhattan building that is to serve as a dormitory.
FIT is in contract on a building near the intersection of West 31st Street and Ninth Avenue, which will house about 1,100 students, according to a university spokeswoman. She said Thursday that the deal has not yet closed and that she could provide no further immediate details. She did not provide the building’s address.
George Kaufman, FIT director and a major Garment District landlord, said the arrival of a dorm would bring a “healthy and positive change to this authentic New York neighborhood.”
Kaufman spoke Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District. He serves as chairman and president of the FCBID.
The corner of West 31st Street and Ninth Avenue features the main New York post office branch to the northeast, part of the Hudson Rail Yards to the northwest, the Claytor-Scannell Control Center that handles all train traffic into and out of Penn Station to the southwest and a 15-story high-rise building to the southeast. It’s about five city blocks from FIT’s campus.
FIT occupies most of the north and south sides of West 27th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in Chelsea. In 2002, it kicked off a $137 million construction project that will add 300,000 square feet of space to its campus, mainly by filling in open lots and by acquiring new buildings.
The addition of another dorm would almost double the number of students the school could accommodate. It currently offers beds for 1,200 first-year students at three on-campus dorms.
The city is planning a major redevelopment of the Hudson Yards area, a zone bordered by Eighth Avenue on the east, the Hudson River to the west, West 28th Street to the south and West 43rd Street to the north. Key planned elements include a new sports stadium for the New York Jets and new residential buildings.