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The University Trustees Executive Committee gave the administration the go-ahead Friday to purchase the 40th Street retail plaza that houses Smokey Joe's Tavern, Marty's Dollars Worth and University City Nautilus. The proposal to purchase the complex, presented by Trustees Budget Committee Acting Chairperson Susan Catherwood, estimated the maximum bill for the property, including purchase price and closing costs, at about $10.5 million. Senior Vice President Marna Whittington said Friday after the meeting that the University is in the process of closing the deal with the current owners of the complex. Although the resolution, which was passed unanimously, provides for an additional outlay of $300,000 for renovations, Whittington said that there will be no major changes to the plaza in the near future. She said that the property will continue to house retail shops, adding that the University will use the renovation funds to "fix it up" and improve maintenance. Real Estate Director Chris van de Velde said Friday that the plaza will be a good acquisition for the University, since it is close to campus. "We certainly can fix it up a bit since it's a property right on our doorstep," van de Velde said. He added that the University will use some of the unused space on the second floor for office space. Although the administration currently has no other plans for the property, van de Velde said that the area will be an important part of the University's future planning. In other business, Whittington announced that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania finished fiscal year 1990 over $12.6 million in the black. HUP had been one of the biggest financial difficulties for the University in recent years, posting the largest loss among Delaware Valley hospitals for fiscal 1989. Trustees on the Executive Committee praised hospital employees and managers for the turnaround. Whittington also announced that all University schools and centers finished the year with either a surplus or break-even performance. She pointed out that this included the Veterinary School, which has been another financial sore spot in recent years. The Executive Committee also formally approved the name of the recently completed Lauder-Fischer Hall. President Sheldon Hackney presented the resolution for the formal naming, thanking the Lauder family and Arthur Fischer for their donations towards the completion of the facility.

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