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Columbia College's residence hall at 731 S. Plymouth Court

Columbia College looks to sell residence hall in downtown Chicago

School is selling housing space in the face of declining enrollment.

Columbia College Chicago has put one of its student housing buildings up for sale.

Crain's Chicago Business reports Columbia has hired Colliers International to sell a 343-bed property at 731 S. Plymouth Court, a former printing plant built in 1897. Depending on who the buyer is, the 113-unit building could continue as student housing or it could be redeveloped into a traditional apartment building,

Colliers Principal David Burden estimated that 731 S. Plymouth would attract a price in the mid- to upper $20 million range. The seven-story building was operated for decades as a printing plant. It was converted to residential use in 1985, and Columbia bought it as its first residence hall in 1993.

Columbia is selling the building as it grapples with a decline in enrollment. The school, which traditionally catered to commuter students, added beds more than a decade ago as it attracted more out-of-town students. But after peaking at 12,464 students in 2008, Columbia's enrollment dropped to 8,120 last year.

Students at Columbia and other colleges in downtown Chicago have many housing options, whether they choose to live in a traditional apartment building or one of several investor-owned student housing complexes nearby.

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