CBRE Makes Call For Offers On College Campus
By Tina Traster
Less than two months after it released the sales prospectus for Nyack College campus, CBRE has announced a “call for offers” due March 29th.
The exact motivation for this move is unknown, and CBRE has not stated why offers are being sought this soon.
But generally speaking, a call for offer “is a great way to force the action, to get the asset sold,” says Michael Bull, the host of the nationally syndicated Commercial Real Estate Show.
Bull says if a seller has a stable, institutional asset in a desirable area, a “call for offers” is a great way to bring the process to a head.
A call for offers is a great way to force the action, to get the asset sold.”
On the other hand, Bull also cites the downside of this tactic: “If the property doesn’t sell, there is a perception that something is wrong with it.”
The college is seeking a buyer for the 40-property portfolio spread over 107 acres. The college is willing to sell all its holdings to one entity, or break up the sale into parcels, and is seeking proposals from both buyers who would use the existing property and from master developers who would seek to change its use.
Site tours for March 11th and 15th are being scheduled by appointment only. All tour requests and questions regarding this sale should be directed to Robert L’Abbate at CBRE.
At least one local commercial real estate broker who spoke on the condition of anonymity has questioned the wisdom of putting out a prospectus without an asking price.
“A buyer can’t come to the table in a position to negotiate without an asking price,” the broker said. “How do you make an offer?”
RCBJ last reported the college was looking to sell all its holdings for $100 million. Facing mounting debt, Nyack College recently took out a $38.5 million loan against its South Nyack campus from 100 Mile Fund LLC, owned by Procida Funding & Advisors, a non-bank lender.
Billy Procida said the auction was “right in line with our schedule.”
He said there’s been robust interest in the site and it’s possible the parcels could be split amongst more than one bidder.
Rockland County College, which has expressed interest in the site, is still considering it, said Ben Naylor, the college president’s chief of staff.
Technically, the college campus is two parcels. The main parcel houses 38 campus buildings, but there’s a 22-acre portion of land, ripe for development, in the northwestern corner located in Orangetown. This site is undeveloped except for the 1774 Bradley Estate, which housed the college president. It it zoned R-80, which permits single-family detached residences on 80,000 square foot lots, as well as churches, libraries, schools and limited agricultural use, requiring five-acre lots.
Nyack College also owns a 36-acre parcel where the Alliance Theological Seminary on Route 9W in Upper Nyack and Clarkstown is located.
Legislators, planners, and citizens have shown an intense interest in steering the future of these parcels, particularly the nearly 50 acres where some 38 college buildings are located. But South Nyack, which hosts the lion’s share of the college campus, has the power to wield significant influence over the outcome of the sale, and the future of the property because it is the zoning authority.