Duquesne University Sells 20-Story Apartment Building with Deal for Upgraded Student Housing

Transposed from a Pittsburgh Business Journal article by Tim Schooley

Duquesne University has sold its 20-story Brottier Hall in order to facilitate a new student housing renovation.

The university made an announcement that it working in partnership with Wayne, Pa.-based Radnor Property Group and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital to upgrade the building at 700 Forbes Ave. that once operated as a private apartment building called Citiline Towers. Duquesne University bought the apartment building for $22.25 million in 2004 for its student housing needs.

While there’s no record yet of a transaction on the Allegheny County Real Estate website, Duquesne reports it “has finalized Radnor and Harrison Street’s acquisition of the building, which includes an agreement to modernize and renovate the property.”

A projected budget cost of the renovation and a sale price for the building was not disclosed for the apparent saleleaseback arrangement.

An executive with Radnor was not immediately available for comment.

But David Yeager, founder and president of Radnor Property Group, called the building “a strategically located asset on Duquesne’s campus” and pledged to “invigorate its prominence” for the university in a prepared statement.

Duquesne expects Radnor and Harrison will renovate the property, built in 1969, into “an enhanced, high-quality living experience for Duquesne students”.

The university indicated it will continue to essentially manage student life within Brottier Hall, which includes managing and assigning room assignments. Residents with leases for the 2017-2018 terms will be honored as will residents for next year’s terms.

Doug Frizzell, vice president for student life, said the partnership with Radnor and Harrison Street “will allow us to create an upscale living and learning environment, while also continuing to provide excellent programming and services that today’s students have come to expect.”

The redevelopment of the building will be phased over the next four summers and will include new flooring, plumbing and electrical fixtures; vanities and bathtubs; renovated kitchens, and new windows.

The building totals 314 apartments and the university indicates it can providing housing for 660 students.

With Radnor overseeing the renovation and Harrison Street providing capital, Duquense has hired Capstone On-Campus Management to oversee the operation of the building.