TARRYOWN, NY-Fordham University has put its Marymount College campus here on the market for sale and has hired White Plains-based GHP Office Realty as its exclusive sales agent. Fordham, which took over the storied Marymount College in 2002, will be shifting operations from the campus to new leased facilities in Harrison in 2008.

The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary founded Marymount College in 1907. Fordham University recently announced plans seeking a buyer for the 25-acre campus. University officials say the move was driven by “the disproportionately high cost of supporting the reduced operations on the Tarrytown campus.”

The university plans to move its Westchester operations, which include graduate schools of education, social service and business as well as its Fordham College of Liberal Studies, to leased space at 400 Westchester Ave. in Harrison, a former Verizon building that was purchased by a GHP Office Realty partnership earlier this year. The university has signed a 20-year lease for the entire 62,500-sf building. The 400 Westchester Ave. building was part of the purchase of a nearly 1.7-million-sf portfolio of Verizon Communications industrial and office space in eight states by GHP Office Purchasing LLC, a White Plains-based entity controlled by GHP Office Realty and Benerofe Properties. Local sources valued the deal at approximately $150 million. Classes at Marymount will continue until the end of the current academic year.

The Marymount College of Fordham University campus consists of 11 buildings totaling more than 500,000 sf. James Houlihan, a partner in Houlihan-Parnes/iCap Realty Advisors, parent company of GHP Office Realty, says, “The potential buying pool is very wide. There are number of potential uses the property might be put to use to.” Most of the buildings on the campus were built between the 1930s and the 1960s.

Houlihan says the marketing effort to sell the property will target real estate investors, educational services users, assisting living or spa/luxury high-end resort providers. When asked whether it could be adapted for office use, Houlihan says, “you are taught not to rule anything out, but I don’t think office would be one of the best uses.”

GHP Office Realty has sent out informational letters about the property’s availability to more than 1,000 possible interested parties. Houlihan adds that Fordham “hopes to identify a buyer and enter into a contract by the end of 2007.”

While no purchase price has been set for the campus, university officials say the sale will not recoup its expenses since it acquired the campus. In a prepared statement announcing the sale, the university states, “The University arrived at the decision after an exhaustive exploration of other options and extensive consultations with interested parties. Fordham had hoped to continue serving Westchester from the Marymount campus, but its large size relative to the university’s needs, and attendant overhead and costs, are impossible to justify. Fordham has incurred millions in expenses since Marymount College became part of the university; revenue from the proposed sale will likely not exceed expenses.”

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