December 18, 2018

UConn trustees OK $375K Torrington campus sale

Photo | UConn
Photo | UConn
UConn's former Torrington campus

UConn is selling off another shuttered campus branch in Torrington, but will still maintain a presence there.

The school's 21-member board of trustees on Monday approved the $375,000 sale of its former Torrington campus to local nonprofit Five Points Center for the Visual Arts Inc.

Under the deal, UConn agreed to sell about 5 acres and three buildings on campus to Five Points, which plans to use the vacant plot as an arts education campus for emerging artists.

The nonprofit, which operates an art gallery on Main Street in Torrington, will decide whether it wants UConn to transfer about 85 undeveloped acres on campus to the city of Torrington or to Five Points, which would then convey the land to the city, school officials said.

UConn will receive $275,000 at closing for the three buildings on-site and adjacent land and $100,000 for undeveloped land over the next decade. The proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for undergraduate students from Torrington and the Northwest region of the state.

The school will continue operating the Extension Center Building on campus rent free through at least 2028. That pact may be extended by up to 10 years after that, officials said.

UConn will also maintain control of a campus wind tower and use the facility to study the effect of wind on trees.

The campus was closed after the spring 2016 semester due to declining enrollment. UConn said it deployed marketing, scholarships and other outreach tactics to recruit and retain undergraduates at its Torrington site, but the decline continued over "many years," the school said Monday.

Amid the closure, Torrington students were offered placements at other UConn locations.

Monday's vote comes months after UConn completed the sale of its shuttered West Hartford campus to global fintech Ideanomics for $5.2 million in October. The fintech plans to use the 53-acre site to build a $283 million headquarters for technology and innovation.

Two weeks earlier, UConn's board had approved the $8.3 million sale of its 95-room hotel to a Chicago-based real estate developer.

A total of $10 million from those deals is being used to finance a $45 million hockey arena at UConn's Storrs campus.

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