Western closed a $2 million deal on April 2, selling 6.25 acres of land at the corner of Nashville Road and Campbell Lane to the Hogan Development Group.
The land was sold because there were no plans for Western to build on the property and money from the sale of the land could be put to use, said John Osborne, associate vice president of Campus Services and Facilities.
“It became obvious with all of the recent development in the area that it would potentially be better served if we sold the property and benefited from the income it produced,” Osborne said.
The Hogan Group is scheduled to build a Walgreens Drug Store on the immediate corner.
Western sold four plots of land – the immediate corner or 1.67 acres, including the Applied Physics Institute, two 1.6 acre plots, and another 1.38 acres.
Money from the sale of the property will go into the reserve fund, with $1.2 million being loaned to Auxiliary Services for the renovation of Downing University Center, Osborne said.
“This is a significant opportunity for the university,” he said. “It’s a good use of funds, restoring our reserve, allowing us to do some improvements and converting an asset to cash that’s permitted these things to happen.”
In the process, the Applied Physics Institute, which was located at that intersection, was moved out of its office and into a smaller space at the Community College.
Philip Womble, director of the institute, said he was expecting a delay in moving into the new facility.
“It’s been a very twisted road,” Womble said. “I think we always knew in the back of our heads that the Nashville Road property would sell first and close first, and we would have to move over there.
“We had always suspected it, that we would do this pivot, moving into this area while the other is in transition.”
The Institute will eventually relocate to the new economic center in the old Bowling Green Mall on the opposite corner of the Nashville Road, Campbell Lane intersection when funds become available, Osborne said. Before the move, the Institute operated out of two buildings- one on the property sold on Nashville Road and another in a corner of the Community College.
The building that housed the Applied Physics Institute and the Community College facility it occupied were a combined 10,000 square feet. The new facility, when renovated, will be over 17,000 square feet of space.
“For one thing, (the new facility) will allow us to consolidate facilities, help communications and also give a central place for people to go and find the things they need,” Womble said.
Hogan and Walgreens have met with the city planning and zoning committee and received zoning changes for the planned store. Hogan is finalizing the development plan for the site, and it is nearing completion.
“It’s a premier location at the intersection of two busy streets,” said Mike Leonard, chief operating officer for the Hogan Group. “We have signed a lease with Walgreens, and construction should begin shortly.”
Leonard said in addition to Walgreens, Hogan Group is looking to put as many as three other free-standing buildings on that property.
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