NORTH HAVEN, CT-In a deal brokered by Jones Lang LaSalle, Quinnipiac University has purchased the Blue Cross and Blue Shield campus in a sale-leaseback with Indianapolis-based Wellpoint Inc. The deal was valued at approximately $39.8 million.

Quinnipiac University signed a long-term lease for a portion of the 574,748-sf, four-building campus at 370 Basset Rd. It is believed that the term is about 10 years. Wellpoint subsidiary Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will lease more than 400,000 sf of the 104-acre complex.

Quinnipiac University will renovate a now vacant 150,000-sf building that that until recently was occupied by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The university intends to house graduate programs in the building, beginning in fall 2009. University officials say that it will gain access to other buildings at the property over a 10-year period and will establish a Gradate Education Center at the site, housing most if not all of its schools health sciences, business, communications, law and education.

“Completing the purchase agreement for the North Haven campus is an important milestone in our plans to create a Graduate Education Center on the site,” says Quinnipiac president John L. Lahey. No residential housing is planned for the property.

The property is comprised of three interconnected buildings and a separate 93,996-sf office-flex building. The property also includes a 1,401-space, four-level parking garage and 585 surface parking spaces. A 40-acre parcel of unimproved land provides the potential to build an additional 370,000 sf of rentable office space, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. JLL managing directors Mark De Riemer and Spyros Kapsalis represented Wellpoint in the transaction, negotiating the health firm’s lease at the complex and also procuring the buyer.

“This is a win-win pairing of parties to occupy this campus together on a long-term basis,” De Riemer says. “Anthem will continue to operate an important regional office at a beautiful campus setting that it created and has occupied since 1972. Quinnipiac University will now be able to accommodate its growth into new graduate and undergraduate programs in a picturesque campus setting in close proximity to its main campus.”

De Riemer adds that many bids were received by interested parties for the property, but “Quinnipiac was the best match for Anthem’s continuing operations and the local community.”

The purchase of the North Haven property as its third campus will free up space at the university’s main campus on Mount Carmel Avenue in Hamden. Quinnipiac earlier this year opened its $52-million TD Banknorth Sports Center on its York Hill campus in Hamden. The university currently is developing additional residence halls, student center and parking garage at York Hill.

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