College of New Rochelle Campus to Close and be Sold

John Jordan | June 2019

College of New Rochelle -Aerial View

NEW ROCHELLE—The unpleasant, but inevitable, is at hand for students and alumni of the storied College of New Rochelle. The private college, which served Westchester County and the surrounding area for more than a century, will cease operations later this summer and its 15.6-acre campus here sold.

New York City-based A&G Realty Partners and B6 Real Estate Advisors have been retained by the College of New Rochelle to manage the sale of its main campus in Westchester County. A&G and B6 are currently accepting bids for the 15.6-acre private college campus in the Residence Park neighborhood of New Rochelle.

The announcement of the sale follows the college’s announcement in March that it had reached an agreement to cease operations and transition students to Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry.

“The primary goal underlying our mutual agreement with Mercy College has been to provide maximum protection to students by providing a clear path forward to complete their degrees,” said Dr. William Latimer, president of the College of New Rochelle.

Dr. Latimer announced that of its approximately 2,700 remaining students, more than 900 graduated in May, and an estimated 200 more students will graduate this summer in August. Additionally, nearly 1,000 students have already registered and enrolled at Mercy College for the fall semester, which will afford those students a seamless transition, he noted.

“We are continuing our work with Mercy College to ensure that each and every student has a path forward,” Dr. Latimer said.

The 20-building campus, encompassing more than 425,000 square feet of buildings is centered around a historic 19th century castle. The campus also features a modern recreational and educational complex, including an NCAA competition-sized swimming pool and basketball court; computer and photography labs; a TV production studio; a 200,000-volume state-of-the-art library; a student center; a life sciences building with several laboratories; four residence halls and a learning resource center for nursing.

“This is an institution that has enriched the college experience of thousands of students in Westchester County for over 110 years,” said Bert Weil of Getzler Heinrich, the Chief Restructuring Officer of CNR. “Selling the campus is a necessary step to maximize the recovery for all stakeholders.’

The College of New Rochelle campus is situated on the land of former 19th Century hotelier Simeon Leland who built the castle as his summer home. It is located in a residential neighborhood within walking distance to both the Long Island Sound and Downtown New Rochelle.

The property is zoned R2-7 residential, which permits residential and educational use. If sold to a developer, the City of New Rochelle would review proposals for other potential uses that could activate the campus, while respecting the surrounding neighborhood, such as educational, technology, research and development, health and wellness, senior housing (assisted and independent living) and condominiums, according to A&G Realty Partners.

“The CNR campus sits on 15.6 pristine acres and offers one of the most unique redevelopment opportunities in Westchester County,” said Emilio Amendola, co-founder and co-president of A&G Realty. “It is an operating college and ideal for continued use as an educational institution. Alternatively, it could be redeveloped into residential or other appropriate uses through collaboration with the city government and New Rochelle community.”

“Properties such as this rarely become available and offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to leverage an established, turnkey educational campus for a variety of uses,” said Jeff Hubbard, executive managing director of B6 Real Estate Advisors. “There has been significant interest since the college first announced its closing and our team has created a structured sale process that will streamline the transaction for both the buyers and the college.”

Mother Irene Gill, O.S.U., found the College of St. Angela—the first Catholic college for women in New York State—in 1904. The first class of students comprised 12 women, all of whom lived and attended class within Leland Castle.

The school’s name was changed to The College of New Rochelle in 1910, and as the school grew, its programs evolved to meet the changing educational needs brought about by contemporary events. The college’s current fiscal crisis began in 2016. The college announced in March it would wind down operations due to financial difficulties and is expected to close following the summer 2019 semester in August.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth