Plans Nixed for West 57th Street Private School

The ambitious plans for a new, high-end private school proposed by former Esquire owner Christopher Whittle and developer Douglas Durst are no more.

Durst spokesman Jordan Barowitz confirmed that the developer is no longer involved in the project.

“There were a number of issues on which we could not reach agreement,” he said. The Durst Organization controls the land on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th avenues, and was to build the school. It was to be owned and run by Nations Academy, a new, international venture run by Mr. Whittle.

We’ve reached out to Mr. Whittle and are waiting to hear back, though part of the scheme relied on a large chunk of tax-exempt financing through the city’s Industrial Development Authority.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents the area, said the financing was of concern. “I thought the school’s fine, but I don’t think they should get public money,” she said.

Plans Nixed for West 57th Street Private School