The Children’s Museum of Manhattan on 83rd Street has pulled out of negotiations to move into a new space in the Essex Crossing development that’s being built near the Williamsburg Bridge, according to Crain’s. The museum is still looking to move, however, because it’s been attracting more and more visitors.

Andy Ackerman, CMOM’s executive director, declined to specify why talks broke down. “We had a wonderful conversation, but at the end of the day it didn’t work out,” he said. “Location, financing, timing—all those things have to line up.”

A spokesman for Delancey Street Associates declined comment.

The museum is in active discussions about two other potential sites—one on the Upper West Side and one in the Wall Street area. The new space will be a minimum of 70,000 square feet and the museum is looking at both existing buildings or new construction. Ackerman said once they secure the site, the museum will begin a capital campaign. Denham Wolf, a real estate advisory firm that specializes in nonprofits, is overseeing the search.

The Upper West Side location isn’t specified, but we have heard that the museum would like to move to the old church on 96th Street and Central Park West whose owners wanted to build condos.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. David Collins says:

      Let me get this straight – a museum for children thinks it would be best to be located in Wall Street rather than on the Upper West Side?!? We are speaking about a museum for children, right?

      • Cat@lynn says:

        I was very disappointed to hear the CMOM was moving when I read about it a year (!) ago, but where exactly does it say they think it would be best to be located on Wall Street? If they can’t stay at the current location, find a spot for new construction, or get the church then where can they move with a minimum space of 70,000 square feet?

      • AC says:

        Recent FiDi (Financial District) & South of Chamber Street figures are revealing two major trends:
        1) Private Sector Employment Reaches New Peak in Lower Manhattan; Up for Sixth Consecutive Year!
        2)Lower Manhattan’s young professional residents, a community of 30,000 people between the ages of 18-44, 70 percent of whom are millennials (18-34), collectively spend more than $350M a year on leisure activities such as dining, bars and entertainment and are driving the transformation of the scene Downtown.

        All according to new report from the Alliance for Downtown New York.

    2. Darwin says:

      What a wonderful idea to put CMOM in the 96th & CPW location! Could preserve the space as a community resource & keep the museum in the ‘hood.

      • the_the says:

        Williamsburg Bridge area is NOT Wall St. That area is getting cool and expensive unlike the UWS which is getting more conservative and expensive.

        The 96/CPW property is only about 15,000 sq feet. Museum is looking for 70,000 square feet, so the museum would need about 5 floors, probably high ceiling-ed floors, in what is currently a structure that has barely two stories. Incredibly expensive to build out for this type of use.

        I can see them moving downtown to the Williamsburg Bridge area. It is very common for the developer of a property to be allowed to build additional floors if they include a “community facility” in their plans. I wouldn’t be surprised if the developer offered the museum some pretty sweet incentives to move there.

        Hate to burst everyone’s feel good bubble but I don’t see it happening at 96/CPW.

    3. Chuck d says:

      I m surprised this place is looking for a new home considering how much the quality has fallen apart in recent years. Filthy. Nothing works. Foam blocks from the Ancient Dora exhibit currently reside on the ceilings of the non-functioning exhibits on the first floor. Dust everywhere.

      They must be broke.

      • B.B. says:

        Do you know how hard non-profits have to work to bring in money? Not every group has an Icahn, Geffen, Langone, Weill, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sacks, or whoever throwing money their way.

        Not everyone is Harvard with an endowment about $37.6 billion as of 2015, and still raking in large donations

        • Sean says:

          Maybe they should if they want to play with the big boys?

          • B.B. says:

            Am sure the Children’s Museum does its best. However again these are trying times for many non-profits.

            Yes there is money out there but many are attempting to reach the same demographic. Plus increasingly big donations come with implicit or expected strings. To wit Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall). Then there was that whole business of Mrs. Sandy Weill withdrawing a substantial donation to that school or whatever after it wouldn’t (or couldn’t) change its name.