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Saint Francis to buy Mizpah Shrine building for downtown campus

Friday, December 7, 2012 - 3:44 pm

The Mizpah Shrine building, 407 W. Berry St., and its parking lot on Main Street will become part of the downtown campus of the University of Saint Francis, the university announced Friday.

The purchase of the Mizpah Shrine building and the associated parking lot brings the university's downtown plan full circle, said University President Sister M. Elise Kriss. “It was our hope from the beginning to have this piece of the puzzle to secure sufficient parking for our Downtown Campus. Our expanded presence in downtown Fort Wayne creates a number of program and other opportunities for the university,” she said in a statement announcing the purchase.

The purchase effectively doubles the university's downtown parking capacity. University officials signed a purchase agreement that will add the Mizpah Shrine building and parking lot to its Downtown Campus real estate holdings. The property is the third acquired to establish the Downtown Campus.

The building is located between the university's recently-acquired Chamber of Commerce building at 826 Ewing Street and the Scottish Rite Center, now the USF Performing Arts Center, at 431 W. Berry Street.

The university purchased the Scottish Rite Center in January as a location for a new Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts program and as a facility for use by the public for events, entertainment and meetings. In September, university officials announced their intention to purchase the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce building as a home for the Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, closing on that purchase this fall.

The transaction is expected to be complete early in 2013.