THE historic All Hallows College rejected offers of more than €20m from construction firms and opted instead to sell its campus to Dublin City University for less than €10m.
The deal was struck after trustees of the 170-year-old Catholic institution decided they wanted the campus to remain an educational facility.
Neither All Hallows nor DCU would reveal the final sale price when the deal was formally announced yesterday.
However, sources confirmed that at least two bids above €20m from interested parties in the construction industry were made for the 6.74 hectare campus in Drumcondra.
Substantially lower bids were made by two third-level institutions, with DCU, which has been accrediting degrees offered by All Hallows in recent years, winning out.
It is understood that the deal will involve a cash payment of less than €10m.
In addition, DCU will take on redundancy obligations in respect of existing All Hallows staff. It will also allow students at All Hallows to finish their courses.
This part of the deal has been valued at between €3m and €4m.
Any surplus funds left over will be kept by the All Hallows Trust and will be used "to further the mission and ethos" of the Vincentian religious order, which began running the college in the 1890s.
All Hallows spokeswoman Carolanne Henry said the college could not discuss the sale price.
However, she said that three important criteria had informed trustees when selecting DCU's bid.
These were a commitment to help students finishing their studies, care for staff through providing "the best possible" redundancy arrangement and providing the college with some form of legacy.
"It will be known as the DCU All Hallows Campus. The buildings are retaining their names and there will be respect, care and commitment around our archives," said Ms Henry.
The announcement of the deal has brought an end to more than a year of speculation about the future of the campus.
DCU had been the frontrunner since at least February when it was identified as the preferred bidder.
The President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, said the deal was a "unique opportunity to preserve the All Hallows Campus as an educational facility".