BLAIR, Neb. — Want a bargain on a college campus?
The CB Richard Ellis real estate company of Omaha listed the entire Dana College campus — including 437,290 square feet of classrooms, dormitories, a gymnasium, athletic fields, administrative buildings and a library — for $5.9 million.
Blair Mayor James Realph said he was surprised the asking price was so low.
“Somebody's going to get a pretty darn good buy,” Realph said. “I'd hate to speculate on what it would cost today to build a campus of that quality.”
Dana College closed its doors in June in the face of financial difficulties. A receiver was appointed to handle the sale of all properties.
According to the real estate posting, the offering also includes a fully equipped radio station (KDCV-91.1) with a license active until June 2013. The radio station's reach extends about 50 miles from the Blair campus.
Blair City Administrator Rod Storm said the hope is that someone decides to locate a school on the 151-acre campus, about 30 miles northwest of Omaha.
Failing that, a committee of about 20 community leaders has been meeting to discuss the best use of the property.
“We are asking people to look outside the box on how we make that property be a contributing part of the community,” Storm said. “If we can't sell it as a whole, we want to know if the city should look at buying the campus and redeveloping it. We could sell off some parts and keep others.”
He said some of the suggestions being explored include a retirement village, a corporate training campus, a boarding school, government offices, residential development and a retail center similar to Omaha's Village Pointe.
Storm said the committee plans to meet again in three weeks.
“There are just a lot of possibilities,” he said. “We think it's a heck of a bargain for the right situation. There are several millions of dollars in facilities waiting to be scooped up.”
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