IBJNews

Lawrence Township finds buyers for surplus buildings

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Lawrence Township school district has sold one building, has three offers for another and is seeking tenants for 100,000 square feet in a third building as it follows through with a plan launched last fall to dispose of its surplus real estate.

The district closed two weeks ago on the sale of a 15,700-square-foot building at Fort Harrison. The buyer was The Hutson School, a K-12 school for students with language-based learning disabilities.

Tim Norton, a principal in Summit Realty Group, the firm hired by Lawrence Township to assess the district’s real estate holdings, said the building at 5626 Lawton Loop East Drive sold for the $1.4 million asking price. The sale included 11 acres of adjacent land.

A church that had been leasing the building has moved out, and the school has embarked on $170,000 in improvements, including a new roof and cosmetic upgrades, to prepare the building for 85 students and 30 faculty members later this summer, said school headmaster Janet George.

George said the school is being renamed Fortune Academy to recognize $500,000 in gifts from local philanthropist Richard H. Fortune and his family’s foundation that went toward the purchase of the building. This fall will mark the start of the private, not-for-profit school’s 11th year. It is relocating from space it rents from a Lutheran church at 75th Street and Shadeland Avenue. Fortune Academy was represented in the building purchase by Chriss Horton of One Source Commercial Realty.

The Lawrence Township school district also has decided to sell the 46,370-square-foot original Lawrence Central High School at 8301 E. 46th St.

Norton said three offers, all near the $650,000 asking price, are on the table. The school board is expected at its July 9 meeting to accept one of the offers, all of which are from developers of senior housing that propose retrofitting the building to house from 42 and 60 apartments. The building, which includes 2.4 acres of land, was built in 1923 as the township high school. Most recently the district used it for storage and to house its maintenance division.

Those functions and the district’s administrative offices are now housed at the former Craig Middle School, 6501 Sunnyside Road, which became the Lawrence Education and Community Center last year. Norton said the building has about 100,000 square feet of excess space that his firm is shopping to not-for-profit tenants. The asking rent is $15 a square foot, full service.

The consolidation of functions into that 246,000-square-foot building precipitated the district’s decision to hire Summit to evaluate its real estate assets, Robin Phelps, the district’s chief financial officer, told IBJ last October.

The district’s offices had been housed in a 20,800-square-foot administration building at 7601 E. 56th St. Based on Summit’s recommendation, the district has decided to raze that building, which is adjacent to Belzer Middle School. The land will be used for a softball field and additional parking for the school. Norton said leasing or selling the building wasn’t feasible considering the improvements it needs.

Lawrence Township is fortunate to have been able to resolve its surplus assets situation in a relatively short amount of time, especially given the lackluster real estate market, Norton said.

“These are difficult properties, even in good times,” he said.

Phelps, the CFO, said the district is happy with the outcome. "The district has been pleased at how quickly we've received offers on the properties," she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT