Officials at Catholic and Jewish schools in New Jersey have come together on one issue: real estate.
Georgian Court University announced it was selling nearly 42 acres of largely unused land to Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. A price was not disclosed for the sale, which was agreed upon after two years of negotiations.
The land will change hands over the course of several years, a spokesperson for Georgian Court told the Patch. That process is expected to begin during the summer.
“After many months of careful thought and planning on all parts, we are pleased to see this initiative moving forward,” Howard Friedman, chairman of the board of Beth Medrash Govoha, said to the Patch. “It’s a win-win and a great next step for the future of Lakewood.”
The university is the largest private religious educational institution in the state, spanning more than 150 acres prior to the sale, according to a statement from Georgian Court. Proceeds from the sale will help the school expand its master plan.
Among the school’s planned changes are a new nursing and health sciences center, renovated student center, renovating an on-campus mansion to serve as an administrative building and modernized student housing.
Meanwhile, Beth Medrash Govoha will develop the land for student housing, according to Georgian Court. Other benefits of the land development could be a reduction of traffic congestion and parking shortages, according to the Catholic university.
The Orthodox yeshiva is likely eager to add to its housing stock. The school had more than 6,700 students as of 2019, according to New Jersey’s Department of Education. According to NJ.com, the school is considered the largest Jewish college in the country.
While Georgian Court didn’t reveal the sales price, the school did reference how much it has spent and will continue to spend on renovations.
“The land deal and other funding will expand that total investment to $75 million over the next five years,” officials said, according to the Patch. The officials said $20 million has been invested in renovations, improvements and upgrades since 2015.