WMU News

Sale of Kendall Street property approved

Dec. 8, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees, acting at its Dec. 8 meeting, approved the sale of property at 415 Kendall St. in Kalamazoo that includes a home being used as a hands-on lab and model for sustainable living.

The University originally acquired the property in 1973 through a land transfer agreement with Kalamazoo County. For the past two decades, the home on the property has housed the Western Environmental Living Lab. The WELL house has been used to teach students about solar energy, new materials and methods of roofing, insulation and gardening.

According to Lowell Rinker, assistant vice president for business at WMU, a private buyer approached the University more than a year ago with an interest in acquiring the land, but at the time the University was not interested in selling. However, when it was decided that the WELL program would relocate to the house on Lee Baker Farm early next year, the University began re-evaluating the property for other uses.

"As we undertook that re-evaluation, it became clear that there is no other logical University use for this property," Rinker said. "Given that some refurbishing and repair would be needed, and that it is not contiguous to other WMU properties, selling became a viable option. We contacted the party that had previously inquired about the property, and they were still interested."

The approved sales price was $110,000 for the property, which was appraised at $115,000 in September. Rinker said a lower-than-appraised price was accepted because of the repairs needed and the risk the private buyer would assume with regard to zoning issues.

Following today's approval by trustees, administrators will move to execute the final sale documents.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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