The Light House at Brooklyn Yard among the properties that might be bought.
Florida A&M University Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a proposal for the administration to begin negotiations to acquire property near campus to increase student housing options.
Under the proposal, the Board authorized President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., to seek the U.S Department of Education approval to enter negotiations to purchase real estate in the area of Eugenia and Conklin streets and Rattler Court north of the campus. The proposal is to acquire 118 beds – 14 duplexes containing 24 beds, 32 apartments containing 52 beds, and 14 condominiums containing 42 beds.
The proposal was first discussed publicly during a meeting of the BOT’s Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee earlier this month. This proposal will also require approval by the U.S. Department of Education. If approved, the cash sale could close this fall. University officials are looking to open spring 2023 for student leases. Presently, 75 percent of the tenants are FAMU students.
President Robinson said this proposal addresses two issues for the University.
“This provides a short-term solution that will have long-term implications,” Robinson said during Tuesday’s meeting. “For years, we have been trying to figure out a way to give FAMU a presence in the northwest area near the train tracks where development has occurred. This will give us a footprint beyond our present campus boundary. It is a highly visible and very productive area of the community.”
The proposal is in response to the shortage of on-campus housing this fall due to increased demand for first time-in-college, transfers, and returning students to live on campus and higher rents for off-campus apartments.
“This potential acquisition can help the University manage during the COVID-19 crisis and provide housing opportunities for upperclassmen, which will allow more housing available for incoming freshmen,” Vice President for Student Affairs Williams E. Hudson Jr., Ph.D., said. “This move is part of the master plan and the continuing effort to provide affordable housing. We are planning for the future.”
In response to the shortage of on-campus beds, the University offered a rental assistance and meal plan package for freshmen who were unable to secure on campus housing and for up to 200 transfer students who have fewer than 60 credit hours. In an attempt to create room for students with disabilities, students under 18 and other freshmen on campus, the University offered the package worth $2,000 per semester and $5,716 for the meal plan for the school year to upper classmen to move off campus.