The Florida Cabinet today approved a major land swap that will enable Florida State University to build a new home for its nationally ranked College of Business.
The swap — between the city of Tallahassee’s Community Redevelopment Agency and the state of Florida’s Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund — allows the state to receive a 5.34-acre parcel located on the south side of the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center and bordered by West Madison Street to the north and Gaines Street to the south.
In exchange for this property, the state will give up three nearby parcels totaling 5.74 acres and also pay $960,000 to the CRA. Once under state ownership, the 5.34-acre parcel, known as the “O’Connell property,” will be placed on the university’s master lease and become part of the campus.
“This land swap is an important step in our plans to move the College of Business further toward its goal of preeminence,” said President John Thrasher. “This new building, coupled with the outstanding instruction that our students already receive, will make a tremendous difference in accomplishing that goal. As the college’s reputation continues to grow, business graduates will take advantage of better, higher-paying job opportunities.”
Since acquiring the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, Florida State has been actively planning the Arena District development, a large-scale, mixed-use development that includes academic, hospitality, athletics, conference and convention, retail and other uses. The addition of the Arena District will be the next major development initiative of the university and will complement the recent emergence of the “Madison Mile” and College Town, a district of shops, restaurants and student housing between the Civic Center and Doak Campbell Stadium. The acquisition of the O’Connell property is the latest piece of this redevelopment puzzle to be put into place.
The College of Business plans to construct a $75-million, 225,000-square-foot building on the site that will house all of its programs, including the Dedman School of Hospitality. The college will raise money for the building over the next two years and expects to break ground in the fall of 2016 and to move into the building in fall 2018.
“This new building is crucial to competing successfully with other top-tier business schools for world-class faculty and the best students,” said Caryn Beck-Dudley, dean of the College of Business. “The new building will give us the ability to greatly expand professional development, collaboration and networking opportunities for students, and better prepare them for the jobs of the future. This building is also our legacy to the next generation of students who expect and deserve a stellar education at Florida State.”
The College of Business enjoys national standing in several rankings.
•U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” ranks the college’s undergraduate programs at No. 40 among public universities and No. 62 in the nation among all programs, both public and private. What’s more, the undergraduate program in the Dr. William T. Hold/The National Alliance Program in Risk Management and Insurance ranks No. 5 among public universities and No. 6 among all institutions. The real estate program is ranked No. 9 among public schools and No. 12 among all universities.
•Business Insider ranks the college at No. 18 on a list of the top 25 business schools nationwide with the best value.
•Public Accounting Report’s 33rdAnnual Professors Survey-2014 ranks the college’s accounting program among the top 50 in the nation. The college earned the No. 43 spot in the report’s Top 50 Undergraduate Rankings and the No. 35 spot in its Top 50 Master’s Rankings.