Raymond Arke | Editor-in-Chief
After initially revealing it was looking into working with third-parties on Brottier Hall last summer, Duquesne announced on May 9 that it has finalized the acquisition of the upperclassman apartment building. The deal, with Radnor Property Group and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, includes plans to “modernize and renovate the property,” according to a university press release.
The sale price was $23 million, according to Bridget Fare, chief marketing and communication officer at Duquesne.
The release announced that Duquesne’s Office of Residence Life (ORL) would still maintain control over resident services, programming and student oversight in the building. ORL would also still manage room selection and assignment. The release also said the terms for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 leaseholders will be honored.
Radnor Property Group, a real estate development company, describes itself on its website as “undertaking advisory and fee development assignments for colleges, universities, hospitals and other non-profits.”
For Brottier Hall, Radnor will be overseeing many of the building’s renovations. In an interview with The Duke, David Yeager, Radnor’s founder and president, discussed some of the upcoming changes.
“[The renovations] will start this summer with a complete revamping of the lobby,” he said. This will mean “reorienting the entrance of the building,” along with new finishes, flooring, furniture and the addition of areas for students to “congregate and study,” Yeager explained.
Yeager also said that this summer’s work will include the addition of an “outside area for socialization,” in front of Brottier which will include a barbeque grill and a fire pit.
“We want to make the experience more inviting,” he said.
Renovations of all the apartment units will occur over the next three summers, he explained. This will include new cabinets, renovations of the bathrooms and kitchens, new flooring and replacements of all the windows.
Yeager said the work will take place only in the summer months, as not to interrupt the building during the school year.
“It’s a wonderful building,” he said. “But it’s due for a makeover.”
The press release said that Harrison Street Real Estate Capital will “provide equity capital for the venture.” Harrison Street is “a leading real estate investment management firm that offers investment products for access to well-defined private and public real estate segments,” according to its website.
Capstone On-Campus Management will be responsible for managing building operations. The press release described Capstone as “a company of student housing professionals that partners with both universities and owners to leverage campus housing to enhance student recruitment and retention, and improve student satisfaction and success.”
Doug Frizzell, vice president for student life at Duquesne, said in the press release that these projects should improve the living experience.
“At Duquesne, we strive to enhance the student experience on every level,” he said. “This partnership will allow us to create an upscale living and learning environment, while also continuing to provide excellent programming and services that today’s students have come to expect.”
Harrison Street Real Estate Capital and Capstone On-Campus Management did not immediately return a request for comment.