Keiser University Scores $132M to Acquire 9 Campus Properties in Florida

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Everglades College, the nonprofit parent company of private Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has secured $131.7 million of acquisition financing to purchase nine office properties throughout Florida, Commercial Observer has learned.

TD Bank, SouthState Bank, Locality Bank, Amerant Bank and Ameris Bank supplied the loans for Everglades’ $181.2 million acquisition of the properties that Keiser had previously leased for academic campuses. The debt package comes seven months after Everglades landed a $40 million acquisition loan from TD Bank toward its $57.8 million purchase of two Fort Lauderdale properties at 1900 West Commercial Boulevard and 1500 NW 49th Street.

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BayBridge Real Estate Capital’s Jay Miller, AJ Felberbaum and Spencer Miller arranged the transaction. Las Olas Capital’s Paul Tanner served as the financial adviser to Everglades College.

The acquired portfolio includes 2081 Vista Parkway and 2085 Vista Parkway in West Palm Beach; 1640 SW 145th Avenue in Pembroke Pines; 6001 Lake Osprey Drive and 6151 Lake Osprey Drive in Sarasota; 5002 Water Avenue in Tampa; 2380 Interstate Drive and 2400 Interstate Drive in Lakeland; and 9100 Forum Corporate Parkway in Fort Myers.

The 543,000-square-foot portfolio comprises nine office buildings that range from 117,335 square feet to 23,192 square feet. 

“The purchase of these properties is another significant step in Keiser University’s long-term strategic plan, which began in 2011, to own the locations of its campuses,” Arthur Keiser, chairman of Keiser University, said in a statement. “As the university approaches 50 years of service to Florida, the transactions represent a milestone and provide significant advantages for our students and the communities we serve.”

Founded in 1977, Keiser University is a private, independent university with its main campus in Fort Lauderdale and residential housing in West Palm Beach. The institution was previously a for-profit school before switching to a not-for-profit model in 2011 when it was sold to Everglades College Incorporated, which also operates Everglades University in Boca Raton. It has 26 campuses throughout Florida along with two international locations and an online platform. 

“As Amerant looks to expand its network in Palm Beach County and Tampa, this opportunity became of particular interest,” Danny Rivera, head of specialty finance at Amerant Bank, said in a statement. “Keiser is a respected educational institution and we are pleased to partner with them and support their continued growth.”

Officials for TD Bank, SouthState Bank, Locality Bank and Ameris Bank did not immediately return requests for comment. BayBridge declined to comment. 

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com