Belleville Campus sold back to city after full-time programs were cut in 2019


Photo by Dennis

Picture was provided by Illinois Business Journal

Ben Kaiser, News Editor

Lindenwood’s former Belleville campus, which the university bought for only a dollar 18 years ago, was sold back to the city of Belleville for $3 million in early August.

Belleville Mayor Patty Gregory explained that Lindenwood “have put in $45 million in improvements and new buildings” on the old campus. The property was formerly the Belleville West High School which sold for $1 in 2003 as part of a development agreement with the city and Belleville School District.

Gregory said that they had to use a state grant to pay for the $3 million price. However, that grant was not ready at that time, so the city used tax increment finance, or TIF, to complete the deal in mid-September. TIF funds are supported by property taxes and used by city officials for economic development projects.

With Belleville owning the property again, they will have to continue the insurance of the site until they find a buyer or arrange a lease.

“Lindenwood had insured the site as if it was valued at $85 million,” Jamie Maitret, the city’s finance director, said.

Lindenwood shut down its full-time college programs in Belleville in 2019, listing the property for $10 million. Only a few dozen students took classes on the campus in the last spring semester.

Gregory wouldn’t comment on what the city has in store for the purchased property, although the historic buildings, dated as far back as 1915, would remain.

“The city of Belleville certainly looks forward to planning the future of the former Lindenwood campus, so it is utilized to its full potential,” Gregory said in an article.