University of Iowa will ask regents to sell Iowa Center for Higher Education property

The University of Iowa will request approval from the state Board of Regents to sell the Iowa Center for Higher Education property, formerly the AIB campus, in Des Moines during the June 5 meeting.

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University of Iowa will ask regents to sell Iowa Center for Higher Education property

The Old Capitol is seen on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

The Old Capitol is seen on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Joseph Cress

The Old Capitol is seen on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Joseph Cress

Joseph Cress

The Old Capitol is seen on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

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After initially closing the Iowa Center for Higher Education because of state funding cuts in 2018, the University of Iowa has asked the state Board of Regents for permission to sell the Des Moines property to the Village at Grays Lake LLC for $7.5 million.

The regents will discuss approving the sale of the property during the June 5 meeting at Iowa State University with the UI anticipating closing the sale of the property this summer.

The American Institute of Business Board of Trustees gave the property to the UI in 2015, after which the university operated it as the Iowa Center for Higher Education. When the UI closed it in 2018 to cope with midyear funding cuts, students in the state’s capital could instead attend classes at the Pappajohn Educational Center in downtown Des Moines or online.

Per the October 2015 Gift Agreement, according to the regents’ documents, the UI would comply with the stipulation that “… any proceeds of a sale of this real estate by the University of Iowa would be used for student financial aid or for continued support of Des Moines area academic programming.”

RELATED: Defunding forces UI to close seven centers

Following the center’s closing, the UI issued a request for qualifications to seek a commercial real estate agent to assist with the sale and received proposals from six firms before selecting Des Moines-based CBRE-Hubbell Commercial.

After issuing a call for offers in March, the UI received proposals from five firms for the property in April. The univesity selected the top three firms, according to regents’ documents, and requested the firms submit their best and final offers later in the month.

The UI entered into contract negotiations with the Village at Grays Lake that resulted in a signed purchase agreement after determining the firm submitted the best and highest-value offer for the property.

“Based on the five proposals received and additional research, the university is confident the $7,500,000 price is indicative of the fair market value for this unique Des Moines property,” the documents stated.

The property totals 13.88 acres with eight buildings and is located at the intersection of Fleur Drive and Bell Avenue in Des Moines.

The campus offered four undergraduate-degree programs and one graduate-degree program until its closing in the fall of 2018. The social-work program offered at the campus had a steady enrollment, but for the new programs, there were only 28 out of 140 students enrolled during the spring 2018 semester.

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