Westfield schools looking to cash in on valuable land

April 17, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The state’s $600 million overhaul of U.S. 31 in Hamilton County could be a boon to Westfield Washington Schools, which is selling 14 acres of prime property near what will become one of 10 interstate-like interchanges on the highway.

Commercial developers already have expressed interest in the two parcels of land at the northeast corner of U.S. 31 and State Road 32—now home to the school district’s administration building, football/track stadium and junior varsity baseball field.

“We’ve been told it will be a very valuable piece of land after the 31 upgrade,” said Nick Verhoff, executive director of business and operations for the 6,400-student district. “Too valuable to have kids playing on it.”

Westfield Washington last year launched its “Build the Rock” campaign to pay for a $7.5 million stadium farther north, at Westfield High School. Plans call for a community stadium with artificial turf that could host more than 100 events a year.

Officials said the existing stadium is poorly located for the pedestrian traffic that games attract, and the facility is not large enough to accommodate droves of fans. Then there’s the value of the property.

“Developers have indicated [that] may be the most desirable intersection in all of Hamilton County,” Superintendent Mark Keen said when the campaign launched.

So the school district listed the 14.1 acres for sale last month; bids are due May 15.

The minimum bid: $5.4 million, which the district says is 90 percent of the property’s appraised value.

If offers aren’t high enough, Verhoff said the district could opt to wait on a sale. Officials also have to consider the cost of relocating the administration building.

“The price has to be right,” he said. “We owe it to taxpayers to make the best use of our assets.”

A new owner would need to have the property rezoned to allow for anything other than educational uses. Verhoff said city officials have indicated that won’t be a problem, given the area’s commercial potential.

The land is just east of Westfield’s massive Grand Park sports complex, expected to open next year. City spokeswoman Carrie Cason said planners are hoping to attract hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues nearby.

  • not so fast
    There is still a credit crisis in commercial development and non income assets are unlikely to attract top bids prior to completion of proposed highway improvements. As a wise developer once said "I'd rather pay retail prices and be right on timing and location than speculate on future events that may or may not happen when they are supposed to." The top dollar values projected are pie in the sky until the interchange is nearing completion and the credit crisis has ended. In the meantime why would an investor or developer subject themselves to the disruption unless they could buy at a substantial discount to offset the risk?
    • Spot On
      Mr. Reller's comments are spot on. I think the school board has received very poor counsel on the current real estate market. People need to realize there is a huge difference between a developer "expressing interest" and somebody showing up to overpay on speculative real estate with a value based off another bogus appriasal.

    Post a comment to this blog

    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
    1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

    2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

    3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

    4. Exciting times in Carmel.

    5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1