SOUTHINGTON — The former Lincoln College campus could have a buyer and the real estate agent is hopeful about a mid-February closing date.
The 33-acre campus has been on the market for just under $4 million since an August auction failed to secure a buyer. Edward Robertson, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, said there’s a contract with a potential buyer who still has to do the final checks on the property.
“We’ve got a pretty solid deal,” Robertson said. “The town has already been helpful in getting us the types of business they would approve, verbally… (The buyer) is fitting into the actual vision the town would like.”
Robertson and property owner Dennis Terwilliger declined to comment on what uses the buyer might have for the campus. Robertson said it’s still flexible and the buyer could take one of two routes.
The land on Mount Vernon Road is zoned residential. A college is an allowed use but most other purposes would require approval from town planners. Robertson said the owners didn’t want to pursue a zone change before selling it.
“We don’t want to get all the approvals,” he said. “We don’t’ want to do all the work for the buyer. We priced it right in consideration of that.”
Before this summer’s auction, the town had helped the campus owners try to sell the property. Lou Perillo, the town’s economic development coordinator, sent letters to 400 colleges around the country but at the time was told the price was $12.5 million. Those letters would have garnered more interest at the new, lower price.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “I think we would have got a few more hits.”
Perillo hopes the land will remain a school or training facility. Tearing down the existing dorms and buildings would be expensive and building houses there without a sewer connection isn’t ideal.
He said prospective buyers who have since left the deal had suggested apartments.
Lincoln announced it was closing at the end of 2018, citing enrollment and financial difficulties. The for-profit college group partnered with Goodwin College in East Hartford to transition students to programs to finish their studies. Students who hadn't already moved to East Hartford finished their final semester at Lincoln in the spring.