Hendrix College's Real Estate Moves Bearing Fruit

by Kate Knable  on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 12:00 am  

“All along, we thought, ‘We don’t want to become real estate tycoons,’” Cloyd said. “The president of the college doesn’t need to spend his or her time to run a for-profit.”

Hence, the college created its wholly owned LLC to run the real estate business. The for-profit LLC’s income adds cash to an endowment that supports Hendrix College.

CEO Davis and COO Finn report to a five-member board that comprises Hendrix College’s president, executive vice president and three members of the school’s board of trustees. The LLC has six employees.

The LLC broke ground on The Village’s first homes in 2008. About 80 percent of the homes sell prior to construction.

“It’s making money,” Finn said.

Ancillary Benefits

To design The Village at Hendrix, the college hired Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. of Miami, a company known for designing new urbanist communities that focus on environmental sustainability and connecting people with their neighbors through walkability and other design features.

“We really get to place-make in a really meaningful way,” Finn said.

The design is related to the college’s education mission, President Cloyd said. It introduces students to sustainability efforts, as well as to political and sociological study of how a community built for relational connectivity develops, he said.

And despite the real estate crash, homes within The Village “have already been consistently selling for premiums at 50 percent higher than traditional homes in Conway,” Conway Mayor Tab Townsell said.

New urbanist neighborhoods “tend to be the portions of town whose property values rise or hold better than anywhere else in town,” Townsell said. “When we want to show Conway off, Hendrix Village is always on the tour.”

 

 

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