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Arguably, one of the sectors most impacted by COVID-19 was education, having to change course on several occasions to accommodate varying learning needs throughout the country. On college campuses where thousands of students not only study but many also live, administrators were tasked with ensuring the safety of students who could quickly spread the virus in a close-knit environment. And while this meant that some colleges and universities had to make the difficult decision to close the doors to their physical campuses, these closures also presented opportunities for new programs to arise to meet the needs of today’s evolving communities.
Having handled the sale of a number of university campuses in various states over the past 10 years, Foundry Commercial’s Matt Messier, SIOR, CCIM, who leads the company’s Religious, Educational, and Not-for-Profit practice, represented the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) – owner of the northeast Portland Concordia campus – in a recent sale to the University of Oregon. The campus will be the new home of the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, a first-of-its-kind children’s mental health center aimed at addressing children’s behavioral and mental health issues that have become even more evident since the start of the pandemic. The 19-acre campus features over 395,000 square feet in 23 buildings.
“LCEF was intentional in finding a buyer for this property that would serve in the best interests not only of the immediate surrounding community, but of children and families that will be impacted by the positive outcomes to come out of the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health far into the future,” said Messier.
The sale spanned multiple practice areas across Foundry’s platform – the Religious, Educational, and Not-for-Profit group partnered with Rick Helton and Ally Lanahan of Foundry’s Investments Advisory Group (IAG), which assisted the Religious, Educational, and Not-for-Profit group in preparing the marketing materials required to sell an entire college campus in addition to helping advise LCEF during the sale process. For this transaction, Foundry also partnered with Mike Holzgang and Scott Maclean from the Portland office of Colliers to broker the sale.
“We were proud to work with Matt and the Colliers team, who all acted as very professional and collaborative partners, in the handling of this prominent sale in Portland, Oregon on behalf of LCEF,” said Rick Helton.
“We are so pleased to have presented LCEF with this opportunity from the University of Oregon. The Concordia campus has been a source of community and connection for the surrounding neighborhood for decades, and it was important to us to find a buyer that would protect that legacy. We look forward to watching The Ballmer Institute’s impact on the neighborhood and on the greater Portland community,” stated Holzgang, Executive Vice President for Colliers.
At the Ballmer Institute, the University of Oregon will offer new degree and certificate programs for childhood behavioral and mental health issues. Additionally, the Institute will connect university research programs with Oregon public schools and community support groups to create intervention and treatment programs students in grades K – 12. The Institute, which plans to hire approximately 20 new faculty members, also hopes to bring at least 200 behavioral health practitioners into Oregon public schools to work directly with students.
The University of Oregon has stated:
“The purchase of our new campus, UO Portland, is one of the most important developments in the long and storied history of the University of Oregon,” President Michael H. Schill said. “In addition to housing The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, we anticipate UO Portland to house many other partnerships with local institutions and the community which will educate and improve the lives of young people in the city of Portland, our state and our nation.”