Fort Myers, Fla. — At its next Board of Trustees meeting on June 15, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) will recommend issuing $17 million in revenue bonds to fund the purchase of an off-campus student housing community.
According to background information for the meeting, FGCU has been pursuing the acquisition of College Club Apartments, which is located approximately 1 mile from the school's main campus at 17100 College Club Loop, since May 2009. Talks stalled out in March of this year but were renewed recently.
FGCU plans to acquire the community for $14.75 million and use the remainder of the proceeds from the bond sale to pay for costs associated with the purchase as well as routine capital improvements to the community.
College Club Apartments opened as a privately operated community in 2004. It comprises six three-story buildings on 16 acres. It contains a total of 144 units in a mix of 72 three-bedroom apartments and 72 four-bedroom apartments, bringing the community's total capacity to 504 beds. Property amenities include a clubhouse with a conference room, a computer lab, a game room, a fitness center and a pool.
In May 2009, the property's mortgage holder foreclosed on the property and placed it with a court-appointed receiver. At this time, American Campus Communities was also selected to manage the property. In December 2009, FGCU signed an agreement to purchase the property, but talks fell apart, and the mortgage holder sold the debt to a developer/investor in March 2010, who, in turn, put the property on the market.
FGCU is facing a shortage of student housing in the near future, despite building new student housing properties in 10 of the past 12 years. The acquisition of College Club Apartments would bring the number of University-owned beds up to 3,262. However, projections from the University indicate it would need to open a new residence hall by 2012 or 2013 to keep up with increasing enrollment and on-campus housing demand. Preliminary planning is under way for such a facility, which would add approximately 530 beds at a cost of approximately $28 million.
— Coleman Wood