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ATLANTA-Eager to build up its $23-million endowment fund chest to pay for a planned $10-million dormitory construction loan, Oglethorpe University president Larry Large confirms longtime residential builder John Murray has contracted to buy a 24-acre surplus tract from the school for an estimated $12 million or about $500,000 per acre ($11.48 per sf), area brokers intimate with the transaction tell GlobeSt.com.

Murray was not identified in previous Oglethorpe announcements. The deal is expected to close before year’s end. Over the years, Murray has built $2-million-plus residences near the main 600-acre, DeKalb County campus at 4484 Peachtree Road NE, brokers familiar with his product tell GlobeSt.com. The 24 acres he is buying are at the corner of Windsor Parkway and Woodrow Way. Murray plans to build about 50 residences on the wooded site.

Oglethorpe officials have told local groups, concerned with preserving the pristine 24 acres, that the 169-year-old, liberal arts school doesn’t need the land because it already has 105 acres of contiguous campus land for future expansion. The sale has been simmering for the past three years, according to local brokers.

Previous speculation on the mystery developer’s identity included large-block land buyers such as Cousins Properties Inc., Pope & Land Enterprises Inc. and the Barry Cos.

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