For Wealthy International Parents: Elite Schools and Condos To Match Are All Part Of The Deal

Parents from around the world are coming to the US seeking education and fancy apartments.

By Jeff Vasishta October 28, 2016
Photo courtesy of Pinterest

If you can afford $33,000 a year, then you can send your pre-k toddler to the exclusive Lycée Francais, a renowned private and bilingual French school on the Upper East Side. What’s that, you have three kids, you say? No problem, that will be a hundred grand, pre-tax. If you can spend six figures on your kids’ schooling, chances are you can afford a whole lot more on your family’s housing.

Related: Why Condos and Construction Are The New Booming Industry In Boston

It’s no secret that Wall St. wunderkinds and celeb supernovas have the kind of cash to splash on their enfant terribles that most people with good paying jobs earn in a year. It was only a matter of time before New York’s elite schools started teaming up with brokerages to ensure that their high net worth parents also had homes that met their refined tastes. Increasingly, buyers from China, the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere are landing at JFK and heading straight to the Upper East Side. That’s where many of the city’s fancy schools—as well as the fancy living spaces— are located.

Photo courtesy of

Now, with the advent of the 2nd Avenue subway opening in a month or so, a slew of these glitzy condos are aiming provide a one stop shop for new residents flocking to the neighborhood’s international schools. Many of them are dotted up and down First and Second Avenue. La Scoula d’Italia is an English, French and Italian multicultural school on 68th and 1st Avenue. Further south is the United Nations International School on 25th St and Ecole Internationale de New York.

Nearby housing includes The Charles on 1355 First Avenue. This new construction consists of luxury four bed, four bath, full floor residences with over 3,300 square feet. Prices are just shy of $7 million and up. And the building is almost sold out.

“What we see now is a group of us pioneering into these buildings—Lux 74, The Georgica, The Brompton by Related which is at 151 East 85th St. Then Corcoran’s project at 20 East End Avenue,” says Frances Katzen, broker with Douglas Elliman who is handing sales at The Charles. “We’re finding that it’s starting to shift. If the product is built well enough and has surprising views, people will consider it. There are still people who care about how it sounds. That address is not as sexy as Park or 5th or East End.”

She has a point. In a world where status and ego rest on the flimsiest of rationales, walk a few blocks east and prices get supersized. The Toll Brothers 16 story building at 1110 Park Avenue between 89th and 90th Streets in Carnegie Hill has two four bedroom apartments for sale. The price—a cool $18 million.

There are also many new buildings slated for completion in the Gramercy and Flatiron areas. These could easily service the United Nations School on 25th and FDR and Ecole International on Park and 23rd. They include the 18-story, 133-unit jagged glass like design at 121 East 22nd Street and the 223-unit conversion of the Cabrini Medical Center which is divided into four buildings. Expect to outlay close to a $1 million for a studio apartment. The development is a collaboration between Chetrit Group, Clipper Equity, and the Read Property Group. The screaming ambulance sirens once associated with the neighborhood have long gone and in their place, there’s tranquil amenities such a swimming pool and golf simulator. But if it’s the energy and noise of the old Lower East Side you’re after, I’m sure the developers can arrange that too. At a price, of course.


Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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