by Liz CarterDaily Cougar Staff
One million, two hundred and sixty thousand dollars.
This is the appraised value of 2.04 acres of undeveloped land near the Medical Center donated Wednesday to the University of Houston System by UH benefactor Carolyn Grant Fay.
The gift was officially accepted by the UH System Board of Regents during its Wednesday meeting in the UH Hilton Hotel.
"This is a wonderful gift. Her primary motivation is helping the Honors College," said John Scales, vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement.
Scales said the System's first priority is to sell the property and establish the endowment to benefit the UH Honors College.
"Obviously, this will be the ideal," he said.
But if the property doesn't sell, Scales said the System will either hold the property until the market improves, or look at the long-term needs for UH in the Medical Center.
"There are no plans to expand (UH) presence in the Medical Center, although the College of Pharmacy offers courses in the Medical Center," Scales said. "I don't think there are any plans now to develop it."
All proceeds from a possible sale of the property would go to The Carolyn Grant Fay Endowment Fund for the UH Honors College, Scales said.
The fund will be used to sponsor lecture series and visiting professorships, said Scales.
Fay, the original founder of the Carl Jung Society, has been a friend and benefactor of UH for 10 to 15 years, said William Monroe, associate dean of the Honors College.
Scales said the endowment fund will also include provisions benefiting the Carl Jung Society, a psychology organization, in sponsoring workshops and lectures.
Scales said the university can expect a large return on the land's sale.
"(The land's) primary value is in it's location," said Scales. "The property is undeveloped but could be used for a variety of purposes, he said."
The property, which has been vacant since the 1940s, is located inside the 610 Loop, on Wyndale Drive near Braes Bayou.
It is adjacent to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and one mile from the Medical Center. Its location makes the property a candidate for development, especially because it is close to Devonshire Place subdivision, Scales said.
Although the property is adjacent to the Braes Bayou flood plane, the Gerald A. Teel Company Inc. appraised the property at $1.26 million, Scales said.
Included in the paperwork for the donation was a notice that 5 gallons of oil was spilled 1,000 feet from the property, but Scales said there are no environmental conditions that would lower the value of the property.