Rollins College plans to move its Hamilton Holt School's evening and weekend program to a newly acquired two-story office building on W. Fairbanks Avenue, and may spend another $20 million to buy two more parcels before ending its commercial property investments, vice president for business finance and treasurer Jeffrey Eisenbarth told GrowthSpotter.
Located at 311 W. Fairbanks less than two blocks west of Rollins campus, the 6,681-square-foot office building (0.13 acres) was acquired on Sept. 24 by Rollins College for $2.24 million, along with a neighboring 0.26 acres of vacant land for $400,000 to be used for parking, according to Orange County records.
The building was former home to the law firm Troutman, Williams, Irvin, Green and Helms, and the property sold by RBT Investments LLC, of which attorney Richard Troutman is a managing member.
The Holt School's evening and weekend program is currently held in the Pioneer Building, part of the Lawrence Center property the college owns. That building needs some immediate renovation work, prompting a search for new space.
Rollins bought the Troutman building to fill an immediate need for classroom space for its Holt School, but has had its eye on the property for some time to add to its commercial property portfolio, Eisenbarth said.
"We saw this as an opportunity to add another property to our portfolio that provides earnings back to our college, to supplement student tuition revenue for our operating budget," he said.
Holt School classes would return to the Pioneer Building after its renovation, opening up the newly acquired Troutman building for commercial lease.
The college is now nearing the end of a strategic property acquisition plan that began in 2006, in which Rollins identified commercial properties near campus that would fit nicely into an expanding campus footprint over the next 50-plus years.
The college's commercial property portfolio now totals more than $140 million in market value and generates more than $5 million annually in net operating revenue, Eisenbarth said.
There are possibly two more parcels the college would like to acquire before closing its commercial property portfolio, each estimated at $10 million in value, he added. They are not currently for sale, and Eisenbarth could not forecast when acquisitions may be made.
Notable properties that Rollins College owns and draws revenue from include the 82,000-square-foot SunTrust Plaza on Park Avenue, The Alfond Inn luxury hotel, and the Lawrence Center on E. New England Avenue.