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The Blue & Gray Press | September 26, 2017

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UMW Foundation acquires Hostess property nearby

BY CATE STACKHOUSE

The University of Mary Washington Foundation purchased a property located on the 1300 block of Powhatan St. last month. The sale was finalized on Oct. 24.

After going out of business in 2013, Hostess Brands, Inc.’s properties nationwide were liquidated. Properties were initially handled by the company Hilco, LLC, but a judge awarded the properties to Hackman Capital Partners, an industrial real estate firm. The University proceeded with negotiations with Hackman Capital in September.

“A deal on the property had been in the works since March or April of 2013,” according to Rick Pearce, vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer for the university.

The Foundation also owns the Eagle Landing property, which is located adjacent to the Hostess property.

“The main benefit is that the property remains in the same hands as Eagle Village, making use of it easier than having two separate owners,” says Pearce. “The Foundation’s mission is to aid and advance the University’s mission.”

In the near future the university will be assessing the property and creating a utilization plan for the property.

“We don’t know what its eventual use will be or how it will be involved in future development of Eagle Village,” says Pearce. “For the time being we are considering several uses, such as storage and staging area for construction projects.”

Both Rountree and Pearce indicated that this property contains many benefits for the future.

“The property is adjacent to the Eagle Village Center, so it should give the Foundation additional flexibility in further developing the property in years to come.  The access to Cowan Blvd. through the Hostess property is very beneficial,” said Pearce.

In addition to the location of the property, the size of the property and buildings could be very useful in the future.

“A real benefit of this acquisition is that the property contains three buildings and approximately 15,000 square feet of space that can be of great use to the university either immediately or in the near future,” says Rountree. “But again, it also has a terrific location as well.”

The property was bought by the UMW Foundation rather than the university itself.

“The private UMW Foundation is the private asset manager for the public university,” said Jeff Rountree, chief executive officer of the UMW Foundation. “The UMW Foundation can go out quickly and put together deals in the marketplace that would take the University months or years to get approvals and funding for.”

The UMW Foundation is a non-stock, nonprofit corporation whose mission is to administer resources supporting the mission of the university. It receives, administers and manages donations of cash, securities, property and other private resources for the support of UMW.

The University has expanded its property and added to the current property for the past few years. The construction of the new Information and Technology Convergence Center and the Hyatt Hotel are examples of this.

“It seems like the University is trying to expand our student population,” said Gracyn Hill, a freshman. “It would be good for UMW to have more land to build on.”

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