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WARWICK, NY-With its dream of establishing a campus at its Blue Lake Campus here long gone, the Kings College has sold the 252-acre property here to the New York City-based Touro College for $11 million in an all-cash deal. Dr. Bernard Lander, president and founder of Touro, tells GlobeSt.com the independent institution of higher and professional education hopes to develop a four-year college at the site.

Touro College intends to develop a plan for the project, which would also include 150 units of housing for faculty, staff and students, in the next year or so, Lander notes. The project would require a zone change from the Village of Warwick. “There are a lot of junior colleges in the area, but few four-year colleges.”

The college, which hopes to call its new campus “Warwick College” would initially involve about 40,000 sf to 50,000 sf of new construction and house several hundred students. Touro College has multiple campuses in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island and also has operations in California, Nevada, Jerusalem, Berlin and Moscow. Last month the college announced plans to establish a branch campus in Miami Beach by September.

The Staubach Co.’s senior vice president John Gibb, based in the firm’s Washington, DC office, and director James Wenk, of its New York City office, represented the Kings College. The Christian liberal arts school acquired the property in 1991 and had hoped to relocate its Briarcliff Manor campus there. That campus was shut down in 1994. Wenk says that the Kings College, which operates out of approximately 70,000 sf of leased space at the Empire State Building in Manhattan, abandoned all plans of redeveloping the property into a campus in late 2003.

Wenk, who along with colleague Gibb are part of Staubach’s Education and Municipal Services Group, says that Touro College was not the highest bidder for the property. “Kings College chose Touro College because of the like-kind use and its ability to close quickly.” The property, currently zoned residential, could have been sold to a residential developer, but in the end the college decided to sell the parcel to another school.

The Blue Lake Campus includes the former International Nickel headquarters building, which totals approximately 200,000 sf. The facility has been vacant for more than 15 years. Wenk says that Touro College will “definitely tear it down. It is outdated and full of asbestos.”

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