Eight things you didn’t know Vanderbilt owns

With an endowment of almost $7 billion, Vanderbilt has invested in a wide array of properties and funds all over Nashville, the state of Tennessee and the world.

Downtown+Nashville+from+above.+Vanderbilt+has+acquired+38+properties+in+Nashville+since+March+2010%2C+according+to+Metro+records.+

Emily Gonçalves

Downtown Nashville from above. Vanderbilt has acquired 38 properties in Nashville since March 2010, according to Metro records.

Eva Durchholz, News Editor

Vanderbilt’s Office of Investments maintains a diverse portfolio to protect and grow the endowment to further research and scholarship, according to their website. Currently, the endowment is worth almost $7 billion. As of 2017, Vanderbilt owns investments and properties such as a golf club in Franklin, Tennessee and 79 percent of an African Land Fund legally based out of Luxembourg.

To procure this investment and property ownership information, The Hustler went through Vanderbilt’s most recently available Form 990, which is from fiscal year 2018, and obtained property data from the Davidson County Tax Assessor’s Office. The Form 990 is a financial disclosure form that Vanderbilt must file annually to maintain its tax-exempt status. Thus, valuation and revenue information is from fiscal year 2018 unless otherwise noted.

“Regarding Vanderbilt’s investments, as a matter of policy, we don’t discuss the specifics of the University’s investment strategy,” a university representative said. “The investment data you reference from Vanderbilt’s Form 990 is, in fact, up to date and reflects the 2018 fiscal year. In terms of properties owned, it looks like you have investigated the publicly available information, which should stand for itself.”

“What we can say is that Vanderbilt’s properties and investments are part of a long-term plan designed to support and further the university’s mission of teaching, research and service,” the representative said. “Specifically, investments in area real estate are intended to preserve flexibility for the university’s growth and development for many years to come.”

The Wendy’s at 2603 West End. Vanderbilt’s football stadium can be seen in the back on the left, and a Holiday Inn, which Vanderbilt also owns, can be seen in the back on the right. (Photo courtesy Google maps)

   1. The Wendy’s on West End

On Jan. 27, Vanderbilt purchased 2603 West End Ave., which houses the Wendy’s across from Centennial Park. The university purchased this property for $5 million from Wentco Properties, which bought the property for $350,000 in Dec. 2004, according to Metro records. With this purchase, Vanderbilt now owns the entire seven-acre triangle of property between West End, Natchez Trace and 28th Avenue South. In Aug. 2019, Vanderbilt purchased the Holiday Inn property for $76 million.

   2. Part of an African Land Fund

Vanderbilt owns 79.6 percent of “Emergent Pro Alia Fund Sub Fund Emergent African Land Fund.” The fund is legally based in Luxembourg and Vanderbilt owns $0 in assets and gained $0 in revenue from the fund in fiscal year 2018. The fund attempts to gain above-average return rates by investing in land predominantly in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a memorandum about the fund. 

Vanderbilt reportedly divested from Emergent Asset Management in 2013 following accusations that the fund was exploiting African farmers. The divestment was spurred in part by student protests that included nearly two months of students camping out in front of Kirkland in a ‘tent city,’ according to the Oakland Institute.

   3. The MapCo at 1507 21st Ave. S.

With close proximity to both Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and Commons, Vanderbilt acquired 1507 21st Ave. S. gas station and convenience store in 2008 for about $2.5 million, according to Parcel Viewer and data from the tax assessor’s office. 

The MapCo at 1507 21st Ave sits across the street from Vanderbilt-owned Village at Vanderbilt, which is being partly converted to student housing this fall. Vanderbilt acquired the Mapco property in Dec. 2008, according to Metro records. (Photo courtesy Google maps)

   4. Pacific Harbor Special Holdings Ltd. 

Legally based out of the British Virgin Islands, Pacific Harbor Special Holdings Ltd. is described on their website as an alternative investment manager that focuses on “private debt and equity investments involving special situations in Asia and frontier emerging markets.” Vanderbilt owns 100 percent of Pacific Harbor Special Holdings, with assets last valued at $70 million.

   5. Vanderbilt Legends Club Inc. 

The golf course and event venue sits in Franklin, Tennessee and is the home course of the Vanderbilt golf teams. Vanderbilt Legends Club was valued at $20 million in fiscal year 2018.

   6. Commodore Scottish Patron II LP

Located at 50 Lothian Road Festival Square in Edinburgh, Scotland, Vanderbilt owns this limited partnership valued at $6.5 million. This property lost $1.5 million in revenue in fiscal year 2017.

Emma Stapleton
Earlier this year, Senior Director of Housing Operations Jim Kramka reported that Wesley Place is almost exclusively comprised of Vanderbilt undergraduate students, which played a role in the university’s decision to not turn the complex into student housing this fall.

   7. Wesley Place, Bruegger’s Bagels, CVS and other retail at 422 21st Ave. S.

This block of property just across 21st Ave. from main campus is owned by Vanderbilt. 422 21st Ave. S. houses Wesley Place Apartments and a CVS, parking garage, Bruegger’s Bagels, SuperCuts and Nomnivore sushi restaurant. The land has been owned by Vanderbilt since 1914 and is valued around $25 million, according to Nashville.gov’s Parcel Viewer and data from the tax assessor’s office.

   8. Barbizon Apartments and several other Broadway properties

Vanderbilt acquired 2006 Broadway in 2015, where Barbizon Apartments sit, appraised at almost $4 million. That same year, Vanderbilt acquired the properties on 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 Broadway, according to Parcel Viewer and data from the tax assessor’s office. In 2016, Vanderbilt added to its Broadway properties by acquiring 1912, 1918 and 1922 Broadway.