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March 10, 2010 > Northwestern Polytechnic University purchases campus

Northwestern Polytechnic University purchases campus

Submitted By Manoj Kapoor

Northwestern Polytechnic University has purchased Mission Falls Business Park, a three-building campus in Fremont. George Hsieh, president of the university, said the $10.8 million price for the 128,000-square-foot campus, purchased from Westcore Properties, was reached after several negotiating sessions. "We are very pleased about it," Hsieh said.

The school plans to use vacant space for classrooms while keeping the dozen or so current leases in place. Mission Falls is less than a mile from the school's campus on Westinghouse Drive and brings the number of buildings owned by Northwestern Polytechnic to eight.

Since its founding in 1984, the university has produced 7,500 graduates, primarily in electronics, computer system engineering and information technology. Currently, 1,200 students are enrolled.

Brokers handling the transaction said the sale does not signify a trend in the market, but it is a sign that buyers with cash and a reason to own real estate will make a deal.

"Prices are slowly diminishing," said Manoj Kapoor, a broker with Bandon Capital, who represented the university, with Steve Kapp from Cornish & Carey/Oncor International. "We're seeing prices come down, not as dramatically as we would have thought, but there are opportunities for opportunistic buyers."

In 2006, Westcore bought the almost 8-acre site for $11.2 million and extensively renovated the property built in the 1980s. According to Westcore's Web site, the San Diego firm spent more than $6 million converting the park to office suites and improving landscaping and interior and exterior finishes.

Originally, Westcore planned to divide the buildings into commercial condominiums and sell the units, Fordyce said. Finding few buyers, Westcore focused its efforts on leasing the property that had been 30 percent occupied and succeeded in finding tenants. The campus is now about 70 percent occupied.

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