A bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Seaboard Station to William Peace University for $20.75 million on Aug. 2.
The school announced in July it had reached an agreement to buy the property, subject to court approval. That approval came last Friday.
The area, which is right next to Peace in downtown Raleigh, includes thriving shops, but court filings show landlords Gregory and Parker LLC owed more than $2 million to various creditors.
University President Debra Townsley said, "We intend on keeping the retail space. It's great that the parkers have started and we are hoping to continue along in their good work."
The purchasing price of $20.75 million is a major part of Peace's endowment, and represents a risk for the school. Ken Reed, director of research and policy analysis at the National Association of College and University Business Officers, said schools typically invest about 7 percent of their endowment in real estate.
"It is not usual for institutions to buy real estate assets with endowment funds," Redd said in an email. "As long as the real estate produces income on a regular basis through long-term rents and leases, this could produce a stable long-term return for an institution's endowment.
"It is a bit unusual for an institution to have one half or two-thirds of their endowment assets in one investment or asset class, but if the investment is of high quality and the income it produces is stable, the high percentage may be warranted."