UO Officially Buys Concordia University’s Portland Campus

University of Oregon
The former Concordia University Campus

The 19-acre, 23-building campus will reopen as the University of Oregon’s Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health in 2023, officials say.

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After closing its doors in 2020, the 19-acre Concordia University campus in Portland has sold to the University of Oregon, multiple sources have reported.

The sale was made possible by a $425 million gift from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and his wife Connie Ballmer. UO’s board of trustees approved the $60.5 million sale in March, but the sale became final this week.

The campus will be home to the school’s planned Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health.

Concordia University shut down in April 2020 due to a combination of financial difficulties and a dispute with its parent organization, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, over the school’s support for LGBTQ students and student groups.

UO purchased the campus from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, which bought the property for $3 million at a foreclosure sale in 2021. Shortly before that sale, a real estate developer assessed the property at $50 million.

As the chief lender to Concordia, the LCEF forced the sale of the campus in 2021, claiming it had the right to repossess the property.

Portland real estate consultancy firm Colliers, in partnership with Foundry Commercial, a commercial real estate firm headquartered in Florida, finalized the sale. Both firms were retained by the LCEF in July 2021.

A Colliers consultant also represented the University of Oregon. 

“We are so pleased to have presented LCEF with this opportunity from the University of Oregon,” said Mike Holzgang, executive vice president at Colliers who represented the LCEF during negotiations, in a press release from Colliers. “We look forward to watching The Ballmer Institute’s impact on the neighborhood and on the greater Portland community. “

The campus is about 400,000 square feet and includes a 23 existing buildings and facilities, a 1,775-seat stadium with a baseball diamond and soccer field, an on-site cafeteria and eating area, a gymnasium, 513 beds for student housing, and a LEED Gold-certified library constructed in 2008.

The former campus also has a Campus Institutional 1 (CI1) zoning ordinance, a multi-use zone that allows for the establishment and growth of large institutional campuses located in residential neighborhoods.

A Tuesday press release from UO said the institute will launch in 2023.

The plan for the new institute is to link UO’s research programs with providers public schools in Oregon and community support groups to improve treatment for struggling K-12 students. The institute will also offer a new degree and certificate program.

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