University to buy SAE house, turn it into dorm

GW will buy the former Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house for around $3 million and convert it into student housing, officials said Friday.

After years of on-and-off negotiations with Sigma Alpha Epsilon officials, the University will close a deal on the three-story building, located at 2028 G St. across from University Police headquarters. GW officials have signed a letter of intent to buy the house and may formally acquire it as early as this week, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz said.

Katz declined to disclose the terms of the sale, but an official said on Friday that GW will purchase the house for $3 million. The official requested anonymity because GW forbids its employees from discussing the cost of acquisitions.

The University hopes to convert the building – which has about 12 bedrooms – into student housing by fall 2005, Katz said. The building, once it is renovated, could be a residence hall or house a group.

“How we’re going to market it we haven’t determined because we haven’t gotten the property yet,” Katz said.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon members were caught off guard by news of the imminent sale and declined to comment. “We don’t have enough information at this time,” said the fraternity’s president, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon members were booted from the house last year because of several violations and a low occupancy rate. Last summer, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon housing corporation handed over control of the house to its national organization, which had been looking for a suitable buyer for the property.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon national officials did not return multiple messages Friday. In April 2004, a fraternity official told The Hatchet that the organization would sell the house to “whoever will offer the most.”

GW’s long-term goal is to build an academic facility on the 2000 block of G Street, Katz said. The facility would encompass the land currently occupied by the former Sigma Alpha Epsilon house and the former Delta Tau Delta house, which GW hopes to acquire.

“But that long-term goal can happen five years from now, it could happen 25 years from now,” Katz said.

Delta Tau Delta’s housing corporation is leasing the 2020 G St. house to the Lamba Chi Alpha fraternity. The now-defunct Delta Tau Delta fraternity occupied the house until spring 2004, when the group was dissolved for hazing.

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