Sands College of Performing Arts

Pace University’s New Sands College of Performing Arts and the Reinvention of 1 Pace Plaza East

We are currently working with Pace University on the holistic renovation of the east wing of its flagship building, 1 Pace Plaza. This project is the culminating effort of the University’s capital planning on its Lower Manhattan campus and connects to the history of work we have been doing with the University over the past six years.

Once finished, the renovation of the east wing of 1 Pace Plaza will turn the original 1960s-era structure into a modern performing and creative arts facility, featuring three new performance spaces, rehearsal spaces, various production labs and makerspaces, in addition to supportive infrastructure for all of the productions that will take place in the building. The project will also include renovations and upgrades to Maria’s Tower, the student residence located above the building’s lower podium floors.

Our involvement in the planning for 1 Pace Plaza East began as a part of our prior work with the University, when the planning for 15 Beekman was underway. Once the University had a concrete plan to be able to relocate the current program in 1 Pace Plaza East to 15 Beekman, we were able to explore with University leadership how the emptied building could be reprogrammed and replanned to best serve the University for its future needs and intended academic offerings. Spurred by the naming donation for the undergraduate performing arts program and other public funding support, the University approved the project at the beginning of 2022 to undertake the approximately 260,000 SF renovation.

Since formal project approval, we have worked closely with future end users, university leadership and other stakeholders, to define both the project’s programmatic goals and the building’s sustainability and carbon reduction initiatives. We are now leading the full project team through design, and early phase demolition activities are now underway on site. The project is expected to be completed in time for opening for the Fall 2026 semester.

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Emily Puhnaty, Director of Business Development & Communications