St. Francis College to relocate to new Downtown Brooklyn campus

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A rendering of St. Francis College’s new entry plaza.
St. Francis College

St. Francis College will relocate its campus next year to a new, slightly smaller space a few blocks away from its current campus, the school announced on Monday.

The college will occupy the fifth, sixth, and seventh floor of the Wheeler Building at 181 Livingston St., above the Fulton Street Macy’s department store, starting in the 2022-23 academic year. The 10-story Wheeler is owned by the real estate firm Tishman Speyer.

Officials say the 255,000-square-foot space will include a 6,600-square-foot library, a 300 seat auditorium, a cafeteria, two art gallery spaces, and plenty of outdoor space, with a terrace and rooftop.

The 162-year-old college, affiliated with the Catholic Franciscan order, had a student body of around 2,700 students during the 2020-21 academic year, and it plans to expand its headcount to 3,500 by 2026. It counts alumni such as Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson and former Long Island Congressmember Peter King, among others.

“For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has demonstrated a commitment to providing an unmatched private education in the heart of New York City,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, president of St. Francis, in a statement. “This is a historic moment to completely re-envision our campus and meet the needs of our community, and we are thrilled to continue offering a first-rate, affordable education in a modern, flexible and welcoming learning space.”

What the facade of the new space will look like.St. Francis College

The new space will be considered a downsize for the school, at home at 180 Remsen St. in Brooklyn Heights since 1963.

St. Francis previously had 272,000 square feet of space on Remsen Street, but a spokesperson for the school said that the difference lies in the new space being “purpose-built” and designed specifically to be a campus, while the old building was not designed as such.

“In terms of square feet, it actually is smaller,” the rep said. “But the old campus was not built to be a college campus. So this space will be much more functional and much more flexible, better suited to the college’s needs.”