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Lawrence Township school district buildings in play

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The Lawrence Township school district is beginning an evaluation of some of its real estate holdings that could result in three of its buildings being sold and part of another being renovated to accommodate private-sector tenants.

The district last week hired Summit Realty Group to evaluate its assets and recommend whether certain district properties should be sold, leased, repurposed or redeveloped.

Robin Phelps, the district’s chief financial officer, said she hopes to have Summit’s recommendations ready for consideration by the school board next month. Once recommendations are approved, Summit can begin marketing the properties. Any transactions proposed as a result of that marketing would also require board approval.

The district's real estate needs began to shift after closed Craig Middle School, 6501 Sunnyside Road, before the 2010-2011 school year.

There was no plan for the 246,000-square-foot building when it closed, Phelps said, but the district later decided to consolidate several functions there, a move that left the fate of three other buildings in question. “We felt like we had enough property that we needed some professionals to help us,” she said, noting that before hiring Summit the district had never hired a commercial real estate firm to evaluate its holdings.

Summit’s work will involve four properties:

-The former Craig Middle School, now called the Lawrence Education and Community Center. The building, which opened in 1970, has been partially renovated since Craig closed and will soon house the district’s administration offices. After the Oct. 20 move, employees will occupy the first floor of the three-level building. The Lawrence Township Foundation and Compassion for Kids, a not-for-profit, also are housed in the building. The city of Lawrence is leasing part of the basement as a training facility. That leaves in play about 100,000 square feet on the second floor, space that might be renovated and leased pending a recommendation from Summit.

-The Education Services Center, 7601 E. 56th St. The 20,816-square-foot building, which opened in 1965, will be vacant after district employees move into the former Craig Middle School. The one-level building and three acres of land are adjacent to Belzer Middle School.

-Lawrence Operations Center, 8301 East 46th St. The 52,620-square-foot building, built in 1923 and once occupied by Lawrence Central High School, has in recent years been used for storage and to house the district’s school maintenance division. Storage and the operations function were recently moved to the former Craig Middle School.

-The Center for Special Services Annex, 5626 Lawton Loop, East Drive. The 15,693-square-foot building on the site of the former Fort Benjamin Harrison is leased to Christians United Church. The Lawrence Township Foundation had occupied a part of the building, which is adjacent to 11 acres of land.

Summit principal Tim Norton said his firm will confer with the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority before making a recommendation about that property.

Norton said it’s too early to say what Summit will recommend the school district do with its properties because his firm is just beginning to evaluate them.

 

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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