Chatham University acquires 2 buildings

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Chatham University is buying two properties to accommodate projected growth, including an East End office building that will enable the school to move several graduate programs away from its main Woodland Road campus in Shadyside.

The three-story building at 6585 Penn Ave., which has 250,000 square feet, will be called "Chatham Eastside," the university said yesterday in announcing a tentative purchase pact.

Allegheny County real estate records put the full market value for the building and land at nearly $5 million, but the university declined to specify the purchase price.

The school said it also has a tentative agreement to buy a smaller property, the 10-unit Haber Apartment building, at Fifth and Maryland avenues in Shadyside. It said it would house graduate students and did not disclose terms of the deal.

The office building is a mile from the Woodland Road campus, at Fifth and Penn avenues, where Larimer, Shadyside and East Liberty converge. It is east of the Bakery Square development.

Degree programs including interior architecture, landscape architecture, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies will take up about 47,000 square feet, while the remainder will be leased to the current occupants, a software company and two engineering firms.

That structure and the Haber complex bring to three the number of acquisitions for Chatham in just over a month and will help serve an enrollment approaching 2,100 students, which the school says has quadrupled since the early 1990s.

In May, Chatham announced that the Eden Hall Foundation was donating a 388-acre farm in Richland.

"Chatham University remains firmly committed both to its role in the city and to its historic Woodland Road campus, and certain of our programs are best served by remaining in the city," President Esther Barazzone said in a statement announcing the acquisitions. "The Woodland Road campus has been our anchor for 139 years; it will continue to be so."

Purchase of Haber, at 5801-5803 Fifth Ave., would mean Chatham owns most of the apartments on Fifth between Murrayhill Avenue and Woodland Road, university spokesman Paul Kovach said.

County records identify 6585 Penn Avenue Associates as the current owner.

The acquisition will be paid for through donations and financing, said Walter B. Fowler, Chatham's vice president for finance and administration.

Chatham, which has an undergraduate women's college and graduate programs that enroll men and women, is weighing uses for Eden Hall Farm but expects it will eventually become a separate campus housing women's programs and environmental and sustainable programs, Mr. Fowler said.

Bill Schackner can be reached at or 412-263-1977.


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