The Catholic University of America (CUA) has notified the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) that it intends to purchase 49 acres of AFRH property adjacent to the university’s campus.
The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., CUA president, personally delivered a letter of intent to purchase the land to AFRH Chief Operating Officer Timothy C. Cox on Oct. 30, 2003. Father O’Connell characterized the meeting with Cox as “very cordial.”
The Defense Authorization Act of 2000 authorized the AFRH to sell or lease with an option to buy the 49-acre plot. The legislation passed by Congress also gave Catholic University the right to match a bona fide highest bid. In 2002 the AFRH solicited bids for the land, selected one as the highest bona fide offer and invited CUA to match it. When AFRH and CUA were unable to agree on the present value of the land as calculated in the offer that CUA was being required to match, the two parties entered into litigation in the United States Court of Federal Claims.
On. Oct. 21, 2003, Court of Federal Claims Judge John P. Wiese signed an order for the sale of the property, setting the present value of the land at $22,009,227. In his letter of Oct. 30 to Mr. Cox, Father O’Connell indicated that CUA has elected to acquire the property at the price set forth in the judge’s order.
“We are on the cusp of a truly historic moment for The Catholic University of America,” said Father O’Connell. “Acquisition of this plot will increase the university’s acreage by more than 30 percent and will ensure that we have sufficient room for expansion to fulfill our educational mission into the next century. Important steps remain in the process – developing a master plan for the land’s use, consulting with the local community, securing financing and receiving final approval from our Board of Trustees – but I am confident that we will be able to implement all of them in the near future.”
Other milestones that remain before Catholic University is able to finalize the purchase of the land include:
- An environmental study of the property by CUA, as provided for in a December 2002 court order, which could lead to an adjustment of the price of the land, depending on the test results.
- Signature by both parties of a right of entry agreement that would enable CUA’s contractor to conduct the environmental study.
- Signature by both parties of an agreement of purchase and sale.
- A 60-day Congressional notification period, during which time Congress may review the sale, as provided for in legislation.
For more information, contact Victor Nakas, Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600.
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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.