SVA Breaks Ground for New Residence Hall

April 20, 2015

On Friday SVA officials gathered with representatives from federal, state and local government to ceremonially break ground on a new residence hall for SVA students to be located at 407 First Avenue (at 24th Street) in Manhattan.

“Aspiring artists come to SVA to learn from industry leaders and be part of a community,” SVA President David Rhodes said. “We owe it to them to provide accommodations to match the world-class education they receive.”


Designed by Ismael Leyva Architects, the 146,827-square-foot building will house 500 students, incorporating interior architecture and technology to meet the needs of aspiring artists. The design features rotating exhibition spaces both indoors and out, which will complement the College’s existing array of studio and screening facilities.


407 First Avenue is a block away from 209 East 23rd Street, which houses many of the College’s administrative offices and serves as SVA’s official address. Near the Gramercy and Flatiron neighborhoods, the residence hall will be in close proximity to some of Manhattan’s most popular dining and entertainment areas as well as shops and public transportation: the nearby 23rd Street subway station offers quick access to the 6 line and two grocery stores are within walking distance.

SVA President Rhodes and SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes were joined by U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12); New York State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright; New York City Councilman Dan Garodnick; and Ahsia Badi, Health and Education Committee chair, Manhattan Community Board Six.

Other attendees included Ismael Leyva, principal, Ismael Leyva Architects; Ben Shaoul, president, Magnum Real Estate; and Leonard Vidrak, project architect, Ismael Leyva Architects. Also representing SVA were Richard Riccio, executive director of SVA Facilities; Gary Shillet, the College’s chief financial officer; Jane Smith, partner, Spacesmith, and chair of BFA Interior Design at SVA; Cosmin Tomescu, the College’s chief information officer; and Javier Vega, executive director of SVA Admissions and Student Affairs.

The new residence hall is scheduled to open in August of 2016. SVA currently operates three residence halls in the Gramercy neighborhood and one on the Lower East Side.


Photos by  Jacqueline Iannacone (BFA 2012 Photography); rendering courtesy Ismael Leyva Architects. Top, from left to right: SVA CIO Cosmin Tomescu; SVA CFO Gary Shillet; New York State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright; New York City Councilman Dan Garodnick; SVA President David Rhodes; Manhattan Community Board Member Ahsia Badi; SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes; SVA Executive Director of Admissions and Student Affairs Javier Vega; SVA Executive Director of Facilities Richard Riccio; SVA BFA Interior Design Chair Jane Smith; Magnum Real Estate President Ben Shaoul; Architect Ismael Leyva; Project Architect Leonard Vidrak.

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