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St. Thomas University looks to sell 28 acres in north Miami-Dade

St. Thomas University looks to sell 28 acres in north Miami-Dade
An aerial view of the acreage put up for sale by St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens. The parcel, which covers approximately 28 acres, is south of the east-west leg of the Palmetto Expressway. (Avison Young/Courtesy)

St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens has placed 28 acres of vacant land up for sale in north Miami-Dade County as the school seeks to buttress its finances for future initiatives.

The location along the Palmetto Expressway would be open for multiple uses including office, industrial, retail or residential, according to the Avison Young real estate services firm, which has been retained to market the property.

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Founded in 1961 as Biscayne College by the order of Augustinian Friars, the private Catholic university would use the funds to strengthen its endowment and finance strategic projects, according to President David A. Armstrong.

The school achieved university status in 1984, operates one of only two accredited Catholic law schools south of Washington, D.C., and offers multiple degrees at the bachelor and master level. It has an undergraduate enrollment of 4,280, and its current campus size is 140 acres, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report survey of colleges and universities.

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“We are excited about the complementary opportunities the land’s potential uses will present for the school and the community,” Armstrong said in a statement.

He characterized the land as “excess” and said the sale “will have no impact on our university’s long-term plans.”

“It is underutilized land,” said Michael T. Fay, Miami managing director of Avison Young. “This will really be for the benefit of the endowment and the progression of the school for many years to come.”

Fay said the university is seeking a buyer or buyers who would commit to “thoughtful development,” whether it’s for student housing, retail, office, industrial or mixed-use projects.

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“We believe there’s going be significant interest,” he said.

Any purchase would be subject to the approval of the St. Thomas board of trustees and Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who leads the Archdiocese of Miami.

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