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N.C. A&T nears deal to buy part of apartment complex near campus

N.C. A&T nears deal to buy part of apartment complex near campus

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GREENSBORO — N.C. A&T is planning to buy part of the sprawling apartment complex next to its campus, a move that will give the growing university more space to house its students.

The university is in the final stages of acquiring two pieces of Campus Evolution Villages, the student apartment complex that sits opposite Aggie Stadium near East Lindsay Street.

Specifically, A&T expects to purchase nine three-story buildings that can house 360 students. The university has leased these apartments for each of the past two years — and was planning to do so again this fall — because of a shortage of campus housing.

A&T officials declined to disclose a purchase price because the deal is still being negotiated and isn’t expected to close until June.

The apartment buildings in the deal sit on two separate parcels about a block apart.

Three of the buildings sit in a row along Homeland Avenue. Built in 2007, the partnership that owns Campus Evolution Villages bought the former College Square complex out of foreclosure in 2014 for a little more than $1.4 million, according to Guilford County real estate records. The 2-acre property has a tax value of slightly more than $2.75 million.

Six of the buildings sit on about 5.5 acres bounded by East Lindsay, Sullivan, Dewey and Boyd streets. These apartment buildings went up in 2001. They’re part of the larger Campus Evolution Village property, so there’s no separate tax appraisal for these units.

Like several of A&T’s newer residence halls, the apartment buildings will be owned by the N.C. A&T Real Estate Foundation. One of the roles of the foundation, A&T’s nonprofit charitable arm, is to buy and develop property for the university. The new apartments will be leased to students through the university’s housing office.

Knowledge of the deal became public Thursday when A&T’s trustees approved a resolution that committed the university to housing its students in these apartments so the foundation could secure bank financing. As with previous residence hall projects, the A&T foundation will use the rental income paid by students to repay the loan.

The new apartment buildings will help A&T keep up with the demand for campus housing. As A&T continues to grow — enrollment at the nation’s largest four-year historically black university approached 12,000 last fall — an increasing number of students have wanted to live in campus dorms.

“The university continues to grow, strategically and intentionally, and we are moving quickly to meet the housing and other needs of our expanding student body and workforce,” university spokesman Todd Simmons said. “It’s an exciting project, reflective of the continued ascent of North Carolina A&T, and we’re very pleased that it is close to fruition.”

A&T last fall leased off-campus apartments for 540 students because there weren’t enough beds available.

The university said in April that it was preparing to find off-campus space for up to 900 students this fall.

The university and its foundation have a combined 3,900 residence hall beds — enough to house about 38 percent of its undergraduates. That number does not include the pending acquisition.

News of the deal comes a month after A&T laid out plans for a new 440-bed residence hall planned for Bluford Street, across from Harrison Auditorium. The $32 million building, which will include ground floor retail spaces, is scheduled to open in late 2019. The university’s foundation also will own that new dorm.

The bulk of Campus Evolution Villages — the one-story apartments built in the late 1940s and early 1950s — will remain in private hands.

The complex is owned by a partnership with an Atlanta address and managed by Pinnacle Campus Living, a Texas company that manages 33 student apartment projects nationwide. Several of those complexes, including the one in Greensboro, one near UNC-Wilmington and two near Clemson University in South Carolina, carry the Campus Evolution Villages brand.

Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.

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