The $12.65 million acquisition includes 1.3 acres of developable land.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) is the brand-new owner of the 118-bed Light House at Brooklyn Yard apartment complex, 636 Eugenia St., on the northwest campus perimeter.
The property was purchased based on two appraisals, which were less than the original asking price. The current tenants pay between $600 and $950 per month.
The University closed Monday on the $12.65 million property, which includes 1.3 acres of vacant land that can be developed for retail and housing. President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., also signed a management agreement with Off Campus Housing LLC through July 31, 2022.
“This is a historic day for Florida A&M University. It’s going to give us a presence along FAMU Way beyond the roundabout,” said Robinson, who thanked the acquisition team, which included Executive Director Title III Programs Erick Akins, Ph.D., and Title III Programs Special Projects Coordinator Delores Glover, who proposed the means to fund the deal, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, the source of the funding.
“This is an investment in FAMU’s future,” Robinson said,
Vice President for Student Affairs William E. Hudson, Jr, Ph.D., said the acquisition is a response to the higher demand for on-campus housing, an opportunity to boost retention and graduation rates, and gives the University flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the current occupants, 75 percent are FAMU students, including Student Government Association (SGA) President Zachary C. Bell. Other tenants are FAMU employees or Florida State University students.
“It’s a great day to be a Rattler. As a resident of the Light House at Brooklyn Yard, it’s great to see this is now going to be part of FAMU residences,” said Bell, who also serves on the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT). “I can’t wait to connect the memories I have had to those of future residents.”
This fall, with rising rent prices and more applicants for admission, the FAMU Office of Housing saw a spike in requests for on-campus housing. However, Robinson said that discussions about acquiring the townhouse complex had begun since the spring.
“We’ve been looking at this option over here for years,” Robinson said. “This is one important piece of the puzzle. We have a lot more important work to do. Our team is excited about getting busy solving the rest of the puzzle.”
With Gibbs Hall, Truth Hall, and other aging residence halls scheduled for demolition, the University is working on a plan to add 1,000 to 2,000 on-campus beds over the next few years. Meanwhile, the acquisition of Light House at Brooklyn Yard brings the on-campus housing inventory to 2,568 beds.
“It is an exciting day for the University Housing Office,” said Jennifer Wilder, Ed.D., director Office of University Housing. “We are looking forward to offering a different kind of living options than what we have now.”
The Division of Student Affairs will conduct a contest to rename the residence.