Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

The Fortune Society (JPMorgan Chase Competition)


The JPMorgan Chase competition invites students to partner with nonprofit organizations to develop real-estate proposals that support developing communities. In 2006, JPMorgan awarded first prize to a collaboration between students and faculty from Parsons and the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy.

The first-place award of $25,000 was given to the project partner, The Fortune Society, a nonprofit organization that provides reintegration services, including career development, health care, counseling and family advice, education, and housing, to formerly incarcerated people.


The site of a potential multi-use building for The Fortune Society, located in Manhattanville, one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in New York City.


Design a new administrative facility for The Fortune Society based on the needs of both the organization and its clients.


Students did extensive research and fieldwork on the ground to identify the community’s needs. The final design included a 14-story, 100,000-square-foot building with 79 units of housing for moderate- and low-income and formerly homeless families; office space; a 60-child Head Start center; a 50-car garage; an indoor greenhouse; and a gym for tenants. JoAnne Page, president and CEO of The Fortune Society stated, “What the students presented exceeded my expectations.”

The design also employed cutting-edge environmental technology, including geothermal wells, a green roof, a gray-water system, and a louver system that would shade half the building’s façade and provide substantial energy savings.

Architecture students at Parsons focused on the design of the building, while urban policy students from Milano developed a financial plan that would allow The Fortune Society to generate revenue both from the sale of parking spaces and from the land itself. “The New School tackled a difficult case with extraordinary professionalism and depth, and they responded to probing questions with perceptive analysis,” said Jon Salony, vice president of JPMorgan Chase.

Parsons Team

Students and faculty from Parsons and Milano.