UT finally sells old president's mansion

UT finally sells old president's mansion

September 6th, 2013 by The Knoxville News Sentinel in Local Regional News

University of Tennessee trustees met today in Nashville to consider among other things an offer to buy the UT president's house in Knoxville.

Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - After five years in search of a buyer, a University of Tennessee board of trustees committee voted Thursday to sell the former residence of UT's president for $2 million, even though that is below the appraised value of the Cherokee Boulevard home.

The purchaser is Magnolia Trust, which UT Chief Financial Officer Charles "Butch" Peccolo said includes Knoxville businessman Joe Fielden and members of his family. Peccolo said the buyers plan to invest a "substantial amount of money" in renovations and use the house as a residence.

The Executive and Compensation Committee of the UT board of trustees, meeting at Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville, voted to accept Magnolia Trust's offer after a brief discussion triggered by trustee Charles Wharton asking who "the true purchaser" would be beneath the legal entity and voicing concern about the sale being seen as an "insider" arrangement for a below-value deal.

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