University Center’s opening Act II
The New School is opening the bottom half — the academic portion — of its new University Center this week. The top half of the building, on Fifth Ave. between 13th and 14th Sts., is a student residence and opened in August. The building’s bottom part includes an auditorium, plus a library on two floors. There is also 11,000 square feet of ground-floor corner retail space. The University Center replaces a white-brick, three-story New School building originally built as a Mays department store in the 1930s. Jennifer Falk, executive director of the Union Square Partnership business improvement district, said, “We are really excited about that building opening up because it has really transformed that corner of the district.” Falk said a good fit for the retail space would be a home-furnishings store, definitely not anything food-related, since the New School wouldn’t want the tenant to compete with the University Center’s cafeteria. She said the Partnership didn’t receive any complaints connected to the students’ moving-in day.