HARRISONBURG — James Madison University is buying an undeveloped 60-acre parcel at 2868 S. Main St. for $4.3 million, but officials say nothing has been planned for the site.
On Friday, JMU’s board of visitors gave its approval for the university to move forward on the purchase. The tract, about two miles south of JMU’s campus, was advertised for sale at $4.5 million, or $75,000 an acre.
James Madison spokesman Bill Wyatt said that while the university has no immediate plans for the property, the board is buying it to add flexibility to shuffle the school’s auxiliary, nonacademic services away from the center of campus, and create space for future facilities.
“JMU needed to review its growth needs in the context of a landlocked campus,” Wyatt wrote in an email Friday. “The new property on South Main Street provides JMU the flexibility to accommodate future growth on the main campus.”
In 2010, Harrisonburg City Council approved a proposal to build a 466-unit student-housing complex on the property, but the project, called Southbury Station, never panned out.
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