More YU Real Estate Sold, But This Time, Properties Will Stay within the Family
Yeshiva University sold the Alabama Residence, a student housing building near Cardozo’s campus, earlier this month. Collegium Capital, a real estate firm specializing in student housing, bought the property for $58 million together with other New York-based real estate firms. Collegium Capital is a subsidiary of Pebb Capital, whose managing director, Todd Rosenberg, received a J.D. from Cardozo.
This transaction is in discord with a statement made in March 2015 by the managing director of Alvarez & Marsal, the firm hired by YU to find cost-cutting strategies. “There are no plans to sell any other real estate right now, other than what was sold almost a year ago last May ,” Rob Hershan told The Commentator at the time. According to Cardozo’s announcement, the Alabama Residence was “put up for sale in 2015.”
When contacted for comment, Mr. Hershan said his comments made in March 2015 were “entirely true and accurate” at the time. “I have been away from YU for more than one year, so the recent sale of the Alabama Residence must have been decided well after Alvarez & Marsal completed its work at the University.”
Matt Yaniv, Yeshiva University’s Director of Marketing and Communications, said the sale “presented a great business opportunity for the university” and was based on “strong market conditions.”
The sale of the Alabama follows a years-long series of real estate handoffs. In winter 2013, YU sold four office buildings in Midtown for a combined $202.5 million. In May 2014, YU sold ten Washington Heights apartment buildings for $72.5 million.
This month’s transaction brings the total real estate sales to $330 million over the last four years, excluding the $371.8 million in properties that were transferred as part of the 2015 deal that gave ownership of the Einstein College of Medicine to Montefiore. YU’s disclosed financial statements reported that the university holds a book value of almost $223.4 million in land, buildings, and equipment.
The sale of the Alabama is somewhat different in kind than the real estate sales that precede it, however. Under its new ownership, the Alabama Residence will be renovated and is expected to reopen by fall 2017 with priority access offered to students at Cardozo Law. While other properties were sold to third parties for non-YU usage, Cardozo’s building will maintain ties to the law school despite its new ownership.