Columbia’s largest dorm for sale

By Campus Reporter

The University Center, Columbia’s largest dorm building shared with DePaul, Roosevelt and Robert Morris universities, has been posted for sale on the website for CBRE—a multi-national real estate company.

Though the building may have a new owner, its function will most likely remain the same, according to a Sept. 9 statement from Columbia spokeswoman Cara Birch.

“Columbia, along with other institutions, has chosen the University Center as one of our core residencies and made a long-term commitment to remain at the property,” Birch said in the statement. 

The building’s owners are considering refinancing, or adjusting interest rates by swapping loan agreements, according to a Sept. 8 emailed statement from Linda Blakley, vice president of DePaul’s Office of Public Relations & Communications.

“Partnering institutions have engaged an agent to evaluate other financing options, including, potentially, a sale transaction, should a compelling purchase offer emerge,” Blakley said in the statement.

Blakley declined to comment further.

Investors are likely to be interested in the building because its income is mostly dependent on college enrollment rates rather than fluctuations in the real estate market, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

President of Public Relations for Roosevelt University, Thomas Karow, declined to comment on the sale. 

The University Center is valued at more than the $150 million it took to build, according to a Sept. 6 Crain’s article. With $127 million in bonds financing the property, selling the building could be profitable, according to the article.

After several interview requests with interim vice president of Business Affairs and CFO Richard Dowsek, and other inquiries for further information about the college’s future with the dorm, Birch denied all further requests.

 Yolanda Valle, CBRE senior director and main contact for the University Center sale, could not be reached for comment as of press time.