Owner of SPIRE Institute Closes on Purchase of Mercyhurst North East Campus
The owner of the SPIRE Institute & Academy in Geneva, Ohio, has closed on the purchase of the Mercyhurst North East campus.
The closing was finalized Tuesday. The campus was sold to Ehrenfeld Companies (eCos).
eCos has been expanding its portfolio in the service industry, hospitality, and athletic development space. It acquired the SPIRE Institute & Academy in Geneva, Ohio, an elite sports boarding school and Olympic training facility, in late 2019. The group also recently added Panther Performance Center, the former North Carroll High School in Hampstead, Maryland.
The group is led by Jonathan Ehrenfeld, the founder and CEO of Blue Ocean, a real estate investment and asset management firm in Baltimore, Maryland.
“Our immediate focus is to familiarize ourselves with the campus, study potential building usages and understand community needs," said Ehrenfeld in a statement. "We have already begun conversations with community partners and stakeholders to develop a concept that will benefit the region and drive economic impact.”
“As Mercyhurst sought a new owner for this space, it was important to us that we identify a buyer that would be welcome in the North East community,” said Mercyhurst president Dr. Kathleen Getz. “We believe that the Ehrenfeld Companies will be a wonderful fit for the campus and community, bringing new opportunities and operations that support the local downtown area.”
Mercyhurst said it will remain part of the North East community. Its Municipal Police Training Academy is still housed in the Janet L. Miller building, and the university will continue its relationship with eCos as it builds its operations in North East.
Mercyhurst purchased the 100-year-old Redemptorist Seminary in 1991 and offered associate degree and certificate programs at the campus.
In 2019, the university decided to unify its programs at its main campus to meet what it calls changing times and student needs. It began moving programming from North East to Erie in 2020.