The luxury house atop Lone Mountain where many of USF’s Jesuits live may soon be auctioned off after the University announced last week that as part of wider cost-cutting measures, the university will no longer be able to afford the subprime mortgage it took out years ago to purchase the estate.
A local bank in San Francisco has said the university is behind three months on the mortgage and that it has no choice but to repossess the property and put it up for auction. A foreclosure sign has been placed on the outer lawn of the estate and the bank is moving quickly to put it up for auction.
“Ideally, we’d like to renovate and turn it into luxury condos, but would also consider a single buyer,” said a bank spokesman. “Unfortunately, we expect the value of the property to be severely depressed due to the fact that no one wants to live in such close proximity to so many obnoxious USF students, especially after the torment families living on the seemingly peaceful streets between Lone Mountain and main campus have experienced.”
However, USF President Father Stephen Privett, S.J., who resides in the upper north-west corner of the building, said he is not leaving ‘his castle’ without a fight and is fully prepared to bar the doors to the estate and chain himself to his bedpost. He has also instructed the residence’s in-house chefs to stockpile food and raid Outtakes if necessary. “I can live on Top Ramen for years,” he said defiantly and reported that he is fully prepared to conduct official university business from his bedroom until the crisis abates.
“It’s going to take an act of Congress to get me out of this place,” said the well-connected president, who claims he has already dispatched university officials to Capitol Hill and the Mayor’s office in San Francisco where he is seeking the backing of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Mayor Gavin Newsom, respectively. “Do you really think anyone’s going to vote for a politician who throws the Jesuits out on the street?” he asked.
The University is also exploring other options apart from barricading the residence. “Where’s our federal bailout money? Nancy Pelosi and I are like BFFs [best friends forever] and I’m trying to convince her to get us some bailout cash. Clearly, Loyola House is too big to fail. Have you ever been inside this place? It’s gigantic,” Privett said.
If none of these plans work out, the University will ultimately have to find alternative housing for its Jesuit population. “I don’t want to speculate on where the Jesuits will go or whether they would end up in the residence halls,” said Director of the Office of Residence Life Steve Nygaard. However, off the record he said ORL could very well end up tripling rooms in Phelan or Gillson to make space for the Jesuits. “We would look at rooms with students who have been written up one or more times first, as those students could probably benefit from a positive role model living with them,” he said.