Towson U. takes steps to sell president's residence

The former residence of the Towson University president may be sold by the end of early fall.

Earlier this summer, Joe Oster, Towson University's vice president for administration and finance, said the university had received inquiries from several "interested" parties, whom he declined to identify.

Towson University is currently in the midst of a multi-step process to be able to sell the mansion. Built in 1926, the residence, which measures more than 7,000-square feet, has been appraised at approximately $1.1 million.

Last December, the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland took the first step by approving the decision to sell. In January, the Maryland Clearinghouse of the state Department of General Services likewise gave its approval. At its May 28 meeting, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved the residence as surplus property as well.

In late June, Towson University sent documents regarding the proposed real property disposition of the mansion to the General Assembly, specifically the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and the House of Delegates Appropriation Committee. The committees had 45 days from receipt of the documents to comment.

Oster said that, assuming the committee's decision is favorable, the item will go back to the Board of Public Works at which point it can go on sale. "We are hoping that by then, we will have an offer in hand we can take back to the board," he said.

At its May meeting, the board noted that the mansion was bought in 2002 to serve as the president's residence and as a key facility in fundraising activities. The university reportedly paid $850,000 for the home; it reportedly spent a total of $2 million to buy, renovate and repair the home.

However, the mansion, which is about 4 miles from campus, turned out to be too far away. In addition, there was friction with neighbors and maintenance was costly. The mansion is "no longer an effective use of the university's resources," the request stated.

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