By Susan Bromley
Brandon Twp.- No buyers have been found yet for three school-owned properties, prompting school officials to extend a deadline for offers.
“We are looking for investors with creativity and we are open to any and all proposals for these properties,” said District Superintendent Matt Outlaw. “We want it to be something to add to the community and we are open to dialogue.”
The school board approved in March a $35,000 flat fee contract with Plante Moran CRESA to find buyers for the former Belle Ann Elementary, essentially vacated in 2013; the recently shuttered Brandon Fletcher Intermediate School; and a vacant parcel on Sherman Court.
Plante Moran CRESA, which specializes in helping school districts shed unwanted properties, charges substantially less than a traditional real estate agent, and has been seeking requests for proposals on Belle Ann Elementary and the Sherman property, but has not received any. BFIS had not yet been posted for RFP’s, said Outlaw, as the district had been considering a possible lucrative lease deal that ultimately fell through. With that offer having fallen through, district officials will repost all three properties in a package and give potential investors more time.
“We are open to all good offers for our buildings,” said Outlaw. “We have not received any proposals yet for any of the properties. We think the timeline was too short to get the investors we want. We have more work to do and I am hopeful we will get positive results in the next month or two.”
The closure of BFIS this month due to declining overall enrollment follows the closing of Belle Ann in 2013 for the same reason.
The district initially tried to sell the Sherman property in 2009, after Oakwood Elementary opened and preschoolers and alternative high school students from the Sherman Lifelong Learning Center were moved to H.T. Burt Elementary (part of the Harvey Swanson complex and which has also been partially vacant for several years).
The proceeds from the sale of all three school properties would be used for capital improvements. Outlaw has previously said officials expect to gain over $1 million for the properties, but had no concrete estimates of property values.
For more information on the properties, call 248-627-1802.
By Susan Bromley