Colorado Springs School District 11 wants to sell a parcel of vacant land that was slated for a new school and has opened the process for public bids and proposals.
“It’s one of our available sites that’s really appealing,” said Kris Odom, D-11’s executive director of procurement and contracting.
Classic Homes in 2009 gave the district the 9.9-acre site in lieu of paying fees for schools.
The land is at 2112 Collegiate Drive in the University Park development, adjacent to Dr. Frank Hough city park.
D-11 is not planning to build a new school in that neighborhood, Odom said, and no longer needs the property.
This is the first time the acreage has come on the market.
D-11’s board of education rejected an offer from Classic Homes to buy back the land, she said, because the amount was lower than the value determined by a Colorado Springs city ordinance formula that governs transactions involving land donated for a specific purpose, such as a new school.
Under that formula, the land is worth approximately $760,000.
The El Paso County Assessor’s Office valuation of the land in 2017 was $317,120.
“I’m not asking for a specific amount, I’m asking for you to give me your best offer,” Odom said in terms of bidders.
But it’s not all about the money, Odom said.
As with the sales of other unused district property, D-11 officials are looking for a buyer who will use the land according to district desires, which include benefiting the community.
“The board always wants to know how you want to repurpose the land,” Odom said. “Is it a good fit for the community it’s surrounded by?”
For example, D-11 sold the old Helen Hunt Elementary School in the Hillside neighborhood to a foundation for $1, and it’s become a center for nonprofits that benefit the neighborhood, such as a food rescue program, English language classes and services for homeless families.
The seven-member board will evaluate proposals on the Collegiate Drive property based on a weighted rubric, “identifying if this is a good win for the community, the district and the buyer,” Odom said.
The board will take into consideration the city ordinance formula, the county’s assessed value, a broker’s opinion of the worth and the intended use of the empty land, Odom said.
“Between the three, we think we’ll find a good range and a variety of uses,” she said.
The title also will carry restrictions, such as the property cannot be used for alcohol, adult entertainment, marijuana or gun businesses, or another school.
Proceeds from the sale will go to the district’s general fund, as per state law.
The deadline for interested parties to submit paperwork is 10 a.m. July 30.
There has been a lot of interest, Odom said.
“I’m getting calls from real estate brokers, small and big residential developers, as homeowners’ associations,” she said.
The first meeting the board could take up the issue is Aug. 8.
To submit a bid and proposal, contact Odom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-2462.
D-11 has sold several properties in recent years, including shuttered school buildings as well as vacant land.
A $500,000 offer from a homebuilder for 10.69 acres adjacent to Bridle Pass Drive that the board accepted in March is still working its way through the city approval process for new development, Odom said.
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