“The University has compelling reasons to support the development of [the] neighborhoods.”
Editor’s note: This letter was originally submitted to Southwind Capital, LLC in October 2005. The president’s office furnished the letter to the Review.
Washburn University is pleased to see enthusiasm for developing the housing and retail areas of College Hill. Our goal, like Southwind Capital, is to see development which will stabilize the neighborhood and provide housing and services for our students.
Washburn has occupied our current 160-acre site since shortly after the founding of the University not long after the end of the Civil War. We now enjoy the use of buildings occupying 1.25 million square feet with a replacement value of more than $225 million. We have grown in student enrollment by 24 percent since 1999 and we will have invested more than $50 million in new and renovated buildings in recent years when current projects are complete.
Washburn has property and facilities in the College Hill area to be redeveloped and we have already made a commitment to relocate those activities and allow Washburn’s property to be included in the project.
The University has compelling reasons to support the development of neighborhoods adjacent to the University. We have worked with the neighborhood associations to the north and east of the campus to encourage safe, pleasant and viable neighborhoods around the campus. Those neighborhoods have voiced enthusiasm for this project. We support their efforts to improve their neighborhoods and they, in turn, have been supportive of the University and the needs and desires of students for services and housing in the area.
We have had a close and open relationship with the Southwind Capital development group. We appreciate that you have taken a creative leadership role in College Hill development and we encourage your efforts.
Jerry B. Farley
Washburn University President