The for-profit college ITT Educational Services abruptly shut down last month, leaving 8,000 employees and 40,000 students in the lurch.
ITT’s bankruptcy also means virtually everything it owns is for sale, from office and classroom furniture to 30 real estate properties with plenty of room for parking.
The properties ITT owns are scattered around a number of states, including California, Illinois and New York. The company marketing them, A&G Realty, touts the “well-built buildings… with good ceiling height and above average parking.”
“An adaptable, flexible office building or school building with a lot of parking is an attractive asset for a lot of buyers,” said Patrick Phillips, global chief executive of the Urban Land Institute.
The size of the properties, ranging from 20,000-59,000 square feet, “is really a sweet spot for smaller institutions,” said Stephen Bethel, national director of Frazier Capital Valuation.
He said buyers could include theaters or churches, or a host of educational institutions, like community colleges or private schools looking to expand or update their facilities.
“Some of the schools out there which have art and design would love to have something like this and maybe build dormitories or something like that,” Bethel said.
Real estate economist Elliot Eisenberg said those schools would have to luck out having an ITT property right where they need it, so he doubted they’ll be the primary buyers.
“The rest,” he said, “is going to have to be redesigned, presumably, for office space.”
Eisenberg said call centers or even light manufacturing facilities could potentially move in. One of the greatest benefits, he said, is that the facilities are already zoned for commercial purposes, and buyers wouldn’t need to pull permits to clear green space.
“Much of the value in some of these locations may be in the fact that it’s already a functioning building,” he said.