William Peace University in Raleigh is using nearly two thirds of its endowment to buy out an adjacent shopping center. The school submitted the offer worth nearly $21 million last week for the Seaboard Station retail center. The owner of the downtown shopping center filed for bankruptcy more than a year ago.
Peace president Debra Townsley says the move will make the university more attractive to those considering enrollment.
"We know what surrounds a campus is critical to families' choice for their students and it's also critical to employees in deciding where to work," Townsley says. "It's a part of being in the general community, as well."
Townsley says she and the rest of the school's Board of Trustees believe the investment will quickly return a profit. The deal still needs approval from a local court. The property will be sold at auction if other buyers make a higher bid. Tenants of Seaboard Station could not be reached for comment.