The sale of the former Cinergy building, where the Middletown branch of the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is located, will allow High Education Partners to continue renovations and start remodeling the former Middletown Area Senior Citizens Center, an official told the Journal-News on Monday.
Michael Perik, chief executive officer of Higher Education Partners (HEP), said the building at 1 N. Main St. was recently sold for $5.8 million, or $5.6 million more than it was purchased for more than two years ago. But he was quick to point out that HEP has spent $5.5 million renovating and purchasing equipment for Cincinnati State Middletown.
He said HEP also paid off a $1 million loan from HUD.
Now with the money from the purchaser, Store Master Funding, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., HEP can continue expanding in the Middletown market, Perik said. He said renovations of the former senior citizens building will begin soon and hopefully be finished in time for next fall’s classes.
Michael Chikeleze, director of Cincinnati State Middletown, said the sale of the building will not impact the daily operations of the college.
Jean M. Manning, vice president of marketing and communications at Cincinnati State, said the college was pleased with HEP and its “continued commitment” to provide the environment necessary to educate more students as enrollment continues to grow. She noted that Cincinnati State never owned the buildings, and HEP consulted with officials at the college about the sale that was approved by the college.
Also, she said, the sale guarantees the college’s right to utilize the buildings for 30 years, up from the original agreement of 20 years.
HEP purchased the building from the city for $202,000 in April 2012.
In October 2011, the city purchased the former CG&E, Bank One, First National, and Masonic Temple buildings for $300,000.
On April 5, 2012, Cincinnati State and Higher Education Partners finalized a contract to bring the county’s first community college to downtown Middletown. The deal had Higher Education Partners funding the construction and conversion of two buildings into a community college campus for the Clifton-based Cincinnati State. The 20-year deal between the two had four five-year extension options.
A week later, Middletown City Manager Judy Gilleland signed off on selling the former CG&E building and donating the former senior center to Higher Education Partners.
Gilleland said she was “extremely happy” that the building was sold and there was “a positive outcome.”
She added that the “system worked ideally” because the city had limited involvement in the deal.
“Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?” she said.
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