News & Press

High bidder gets Dowling property

Long Island Business News (Commack, NY)

By:David Winzelberg April 7, 2017

A $26.5 million bid from Princeton Education Center has been chosen as the winning offer for Dowling College's 25-acre Oakdale campus.

The bid must still be confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

An auction for the property was held Tuesday in East Meadow and hosted by law firm Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman.

The five bids for the property ranged from $9 million to the winning bid of $26.5 million. The property includes six buildings and the former W.K. Vanderbilt Estate. The second highest bid of $26.1 million was made by NCF Capital Limited and is the back-up offer for the property. Other bids were made by the Ritnand Balved Education Foundation ($25.8 million); Southold-based Island Estate Group ($16.5 million); and Vanderbilt Palace LLC, a subsidiary of Manhattan-based Empire Equities ($14.6 million). The two lowest bidders planned to redevelop the property, while the top three bidders planned to keep it as an educational campus.

Officials from Princeton Education Center could not be reached for comment.

The proceeds from the auction will go towards paying down the shuttered college's $65.8 million debt, according to court papers. Dowling closed in August 2016 and filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2016.

Melville-based A&G Realty Partners and Madison Hawk Partners were managing the sale for the failed college's bankruptcy trustee.

The firms will also subsequently sell Dowling's 101-acre campus by the Brookhaven Airport in Shirley.

The Shirley property was home to the college's aviation program and includes an athletic complex, a two-story, 65,000-square-foot building and a 10,000-square-foot airplane hangar with runway access to Brookhaven Airport.

In September 2016, St. John's University closed on the $22.5 million sale of its 170-acre Oakdale campus just down the road from Dowling. The buyer, Amity University, was an international nonprofit educational institution with campuses in China, India, South Africa and several other countries. Amity is under the umbrella organization of Ritnand Balved Education Foundation, which was also the third-highest bidder for the Dowling property.