News release from the University of Saint Francis:
USF expanding Downtown Campus with Mizpah Shrine purchase
(December 7, 2012) — The University of Saint Francis will expand its Downtown Campus with the purchase of the Mizpah Shine building at 407 W. Berry St., Fort Wayne, and its associated Main Street parking lot.
The purchase of the Mizpah Shrine building and the associated parking lot brings the university’s downtown plan full circle, said University President Sister M. Elise Kriss. “It was our hope from the beginning to have this piece of the puzzle to secure sufficient parking for our Downtown Campus. Our expanded presence in downtown Fort Wayne creates a number of program and other opportunities for the university,” she said. The purchase effectively doubles the university’s downtown parking capacity.
University officials signed a purchase agreement that will add the Mizpah Shrine building and parking lot to its Downtown Campus real estate holdings. The property is the third acquired to establish the Downtown Campus.
The building is located between the university’s recently-acquired Chamber of Commerce building at 826 Ewing Street and the Scottish Rite Center, now the USF Performing Arts Center, at 431 W. Berry Street.
The university purchased the Scottish Rite Center in January as a location for a new Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts (META) program and as a facility for use by the public for events, entertainment and meetings.
In September, university officials announced their intention to purchase the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce building as a home for the Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, closing on that purchase this fall.
“Locating the school of business downtown near the business sector opens up a wide range of opportunities and also links to the recently announced META program, which includes an entrepreneurial focus,” President Kriss said. “The move also frees up more space on the Spring Street campus to serve the growing needs of programs there.”
The university will be completing its due diligence on the Mizpah Shrine and parking lot property in the coming months. The transaction is expected to be complete early in 2013.