STATEN ISLAND, NY — St. John’s University (SJU) has launched a search for community partners to acquire the school’s Staten Island campus worth more than $50.2 million, according to public records.
A university spokesperson told Advance/SILive.com that it is seeking proposals from real estate firms to expedite the process.
“In order to identify suitable community partners for the future of real estate, the university is seeking proposals from real estate companies who may be interested in working with us on this important project, including conducting an initial site evaluation. We are very early in the process,” Bryan Brown said in a statement.
according to City Finance Department Recordsthe 2022-2023 market value of the property is $50,235,000.
When St. John’s announced it in August Closure of the Grimes Hill Campus after the Spring 2024 SemesterBorough Mayor Vito Fossela and the island’s other elected officials were swiftly mobilized to ensure that the next chapter of the estate is in the best interest of the community.
the official Unite to prevent the campus from becoming the “next Manresa mountain” finished catholic seminary In the hands of private housing developers After closing.
Will Wagner buy SJU?
Fossella had previously floated the idea that St. John’s neighbor, Wagner College, would acquire the campus and ensure its continued use for educational purposes.
The borough mayor and Staten Island elect met with Wagner’s management in August, during which Fossela said he confirmed Wagner had some interest in the acquisition.
He and his colleagues said they felt Wagner would be a “logical successor”.
After the meeting, Wagner neither confirmed nor denied plans to purchase the campus from SJU.
A school spokesperson said, “Our focus is on welcoming new and returning students to Grimes Hill as we prepare for the first day of school.” “Our priority is to support the best possible outcomes for all who pursue their education.”
Fossella told Advance/SILive.com on Thursday that Wagner may not have offered to buy the campus and suspects other organizations and bodies should consider the opportunity. .
“I don’t want to put words [Wagner’s] Sorry, but it probably doesn’t happen with outright purchases at this point. But I think there is willingness and openness to cooperate in the future. That means we need at least Wagner’s cooperative partner, or someone who can take over the entire campus alone. ”
Wagner did not respond to a request for comment by the time this article was published.
Fossela in a meeting with St.johns
Mr Fossella told Advance/SILive.com that he is in ongoing discussions with the SJU administration about the matter.
Their last talks were a few weeks ago, so the borough chief said he wasn’t sure if there would be any progress, such as potential buyers showing interest. We hope to sell the property to an entity that will continue to use it.
“I know they want to do the best for the community here and maintain a long and rich tradition and a good reputation. And I believe we are willing to do whatever we can,” said the mayor.
elected to brainstorm other options
Fossella is determined to continue the conversation with his colleagues and work together to find the final solution.
“I believe there is a need to reorganize in light of the fact that words may need to be said to put limits on our thinking and to persuade other educational institutions to seriously consider St. John’s Church. I sent a memo to the elect that there is,” he said Thursday.
The borough mayor said he hopes the group will meet by early December sometime before Christmas.