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School officials look to sell old MJES before year's end
Dec 21, 2004 12:00 am
The sale of the old Mt. Juliet Elementary School site may be a done deal before year's end with a top level school official confirming at least two development companies have expressed interest in the property, and "firm" proposals for purchase in the works.
According to Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall, system hired Nashville-based commercial broker NAI Mathews Partners is in discussions with two Middle Tennessee firms about their intent to purchase the old school which sits on 12.17 prime acres on North Mt. Juliet Road. A third company most likely will join the bid process this week, officials stated.
A County Commission deadline spurred the school system in October to contract with nationally recognized Mathews Partners and forgo a 6-percent commission after a sealed bid process to unload the property failed. The first sealed bid found development company Parker Grass' offer of $2.7 million for the property withdrawn and the second bid process produced zero results. School officials said they were "thrilled" the partnership with the broker has produced results.
"We are excited about it," Hall said. "We have two firm contracts in the works and a third that will probably come in this week."
Hall noted the school system is waiting for contracts to arrive at the school board office with the interested parties' conditions to buy.
"Then we will meet with school attorney Mike Jennings to look over the proposals," Hall said. "We can read them over and 'chew' on them. We hope to accept an offer before Jan. 1."
The contract with Mathews Partners states the property will not be sold for less that $2,950,000. By resolution, the Wilson County School board must pay $2.1 million from the sale of the property to the County Court by December 2005. This deal was reached during funding negotiations for the construction of the replacement school now located on West Division Street.
Mathews Partners listed the property nationwide and in the past few weeks distributed aerial photos and stats on the property to prospective development companies.
Hall noted current discussions with the interested parties revolve around questions about how the Town Center project may affect the property as well as demolition costs among other things. Hall explained the school system has spent a fair amount of time providing "due diligence" to speed the process. They offered to prospective buyers zoning information and what it would cost to level the building.
"We pretty much expect whoever buys the property to raze the building and put up something new," Hall said. "It would cost a lot to buy the property and then spend money on renovation. Costs to demolish the build have been estimated at $270,000 with the bulk of this amount dedicated to asbestos removal.
Director of Schools Dr. Jim Duncan said the sale of the building is going full speed ahead.
"We anticipate movement toward this end before the major holidays," Duncan said. "Things look like they are in good shape for this goal. We hope to sell the property soon. We always thought we would make the December 2005 deadline."
"We will turn in the $2 million to Ron Gilbert's office to the debt service account and fulfill our commitment to the county commission," he said. "We hope to meet in the middle with the best offer and put it before the school board in January to be signed sealed and delivered."