Simpson goes real estate shopping

Simpson goes real estate shopping

by John Jacobsen

A piece of residential property located north of campus at the corner of Girard and B Streets is the latest major purchase made by Simpson College this year, though it’s future purpose still unknown.

“Right now the deal is not final. As of now it is only a purchase agreement,” said Ken Birkenholtz, vice president of business and finance.

No exact price has been negotiated between the two parties. The price will be determined at a later date when the property is officially handed over to Simpson.

The house, located next to the Alpha Chi Omega house, is zoned as a residential area by the city of Indianola and will remain that way when Simpson takes title to the property.

“We hope to close on the sale by mid July,” said Birkenholttz.

The house was formerly the home of the college president until Simpson purchased the current residence located on Ashland Street south of campus.

There was no long-term plan to purchase the property. The residence came up for sale and Simpson took action to obtain the house from the current owners. With no current plan for the house many wonder why the purchase was made.

“What we often do with residential property is make them available to new faculty or staff in their first year until they find a place,” said President R. Kevin LaGree.

This piece of property will also be included in the schools comprehensive plan for the campus. “When they [property sites] become available and fit into the plan you have some options for the future. Our plan is to always acquire properties that may benefit the college,” LaGree said.

Approval is needed from several people associated with the college before a purchase can be made.

“I report to the president and seek his approval and then bring it to the Board of Trustees,” said Birkenholtz, adding that he is usually the one in charge of finding properties for the college to purchase.

The money to purchase the property will be taken from one of the endowment funds that belong to Simpson. These funds are made up of donations and gifts given to the college from individuals for use in these types of purchases.

“It is the kind of thing that fits into our plan of owning property surrounding the college,” said LaGree.