MnSCU purchases downtown Minneapolis property to expand higher education offerings

Posted: September 3, 2003

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

Anticipating growing demand for higher education in the metropolitan area, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities signed a purchase agreement this week to buy a parcel of land adjacent to Minneapolis Community and Technical College on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

The property, which consists of four buildings and some surface parking, will be used by Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Metropolitan State University to expand their capacity to jointly offer educational programs in Minneapolis.

"Looking to the future, the Twin Cities population is expected to grow substantially, and we know that residents will continue to seek higher education opportunities that are convenient to where they live and work," said James H. McCormick, chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. "This expansion supports the collaboration of two institutions with distinctly different missions."

The purchase price is $11.2 million, which will be financed by a $10 million capital bonding appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature in 2003 plus the anticipated cost savings from ending building lease agreements held by the two colleges. The purchase will become effective October 15, 2003, and is contingent upon financing, legislative affirmation, satisfactory inspections and approval by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.

The property, which comprises a city block at 1300 Hennepin Avenue, will be purchased from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is completing its headquarters relocation to North Carolina. The parcel offers the only opportunity for an expansion adjacent to Minneapolis Community and Technical College in the foreseeable future. Three of the four buildings on the property are located in a historic district. The purchase includes 214,000 square feet of office and other space.

"We are thrilled that the property will become part of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College campus," said Phil Davis, president of the college. "Our intent is to preserve these historic buildings and to use this purchase to promote the long term vitality of Minneapolis."

Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Metropolitan State University have been working together to offer integrated programs and to develop a single facilities plan to better serve the city of Minneapolis. The two institutions offer a range of complementary and collaborative academic programs.

"We have been working for years to build the collaboration between our two institutions," said Wilson Bradshaw, President of Metropolitan State University. "Our shared vision for meeting the growing demand for higher education in Minneapolis can now be achieved."

Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a two-year college offering career training programs and the first two years of a bachelor's degree. Metropolitan State University offers bachelor's and master's degree programs, primarily to working adults, with its main campus in St. Paul. Together, the institutions serve about 19,500 students annually in credit-based courses. Both institutions serve a very diverse urban population; 43 percent of Minneapolis Community and Technical College students are students of color as are 22.4 percent of Metropolitan State University students.


Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.