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With No Bids for Hubble, District 200 to Entertain Offers Without Initial Terms

District 200 received no official bids for the old Hubble School property at its open auction Monday. It will now entertain offers for a minimum of $5 million, but not necessarily compliant with the original terms and conditions set for the sale.

District 200 received no official bids for the old Hubble School property at its open auction Monday and will now entertain any “reasonable” offers to come its way. District 200 Attorney Aris Dalianis explained that school code now allows the board to entertain reasonable offers for a minimum of $5 million, but not necessarily compliant with the original terms and conditions of the sale.

One potential bidder, Muhammad Shamsi, signed up at the open auction Monday, but then said his counterpart who had the earnest money check for $300,000 was unable to attend because of an emergency.

Shamsi attended the auction on behalf of the Lombard-based College Preparatory School of America (CPSA). He said the school intends to turn the property into a school for grades six through 12, or approximately 600 students.

The District 200 school board passed a resolution in February to sell Hubble in a sealed bid process for a minimum of $10 million. When it received no bids by the bid opening date, Apr. 14, the board passed a new resolution setting the minimum price to $5 million, and a public auction date on Monday, May 16.

According to the previous terms and conditions of the sale, the successful bidder would have been required to pay the balance of the sale price at the property’s closing date, which would be within 45 days after the buyer secures all necessary permits from DuPage County, the city of Wheaton and any other necessary governmental entities. The buyer would have had 180 days to secure these permits and approvals, and can request an extension at any time. The district will be be able to authorize a 120-day extension if the buyer “has demonstrated that it is making good faith, substantial progress toward obtaining such approvals and permits."

The terms and conditions allowed District 200 to, “consider the bid price, future property tax revenues and ‘new property’ equalized assessed valuation likely to be generated by the development of the real estate, and any other factors within its sole discretion in evaluating, and accepting or rejecting, the highest bid.”

Terms also required the buyer to “make a good faith effort” to work with the Wheaton Park District to incorporate public space uses and “to preserve or enhance existing athletic fields to the extent such uses are practical within the overall propose development scheme of the real estate.” The buyer is also prohibited from applying for or accepting tax increment financing funds.

Had Shamsi's counterpart been at the auction, the bid would have been submitted, complying with all of the district's terms and conditions. He said the school would work with the Wheaton Park District and the city of Wheaton. 

He said that now, he will submit the bid "after tomorrow ... it will be a very nice offer." He added that the property will benefit "everyone."

Dalianis said the board will negotiate offers for Hubble in closed sessions, but would accept or reject them in open meetings. 

Jim McMahon May 16, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Let freedom ring...
Susan May 17, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Way to go, Wheaton School Board members.......thanks a lot.
Wheaton Resident May 17, 2011 at 12:27 AM
"The College Preparatory School of America is an academic institution dedicated to providing excellent education in an Islamic environment with Quran and Sunnah as its guiding principle. It strives to provide the highest level of academic, spiritual, and physical education, while focusing on each child's social, emotional, financial, and intellectual needs. It aims to develop well-rounded individuals equipped with a passion for knowledge, life-long learning, and leadership qualities with dedication to serve humanity at large."
Stephanie May 17, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Thanks for posting that Wheaton Resident. It sounds like it would be a great fit for the city. Wheaton prides itself with being such a faith-based community, so I would think many people would be happy with this development.
Bob Bollweg May 17, 2011 at 01:01 PM
Since we pay taxes to both the Park District & The School Board, why not give the property to the Park District and let them use it as they are suggesting. Bob Bollweg Sr.
Wheatonite May 17, 2011 at 01:56 PM
http://www.wheatonparkdistrict.com/pgs/parks/hubble_updates.html Will District 200 not move forward with the Park District's FMV offer for the land and subsequent sale of the middle school property to Mariano's Fresh Market? Please read the headline letter from Board president Ray Morrill.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) May 17, 2011 at 03:06 PM
From what the school district has said, they want to sell the property. They've put a lot of money into maintaining it, so giving it away, or doing a property transfer, may not be something they'd want.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) May 17, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Most of that letter is also in our article, http://patch.com/A-h1NK, thank you for posting, Wheatonite!
Anne May 17, 2011 at 03:53 PM
Bring on Mariano's!! We desperately need a grocery store in town, not to mention some tax revenue. Let's do something that benefits all, not a few.
John Wheaton Doe May 17, 2011 at 07:24 PM
From one non profit to another- nice work Swanson, et al. At least the Park District concept will generate taxes from the Marino's portion.
West District Bob May 17, 2011 at 07:42 PM
What does that mean? Ding or dong?
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) May 18, 2011 at 12:55 AM
Thanks for posting, Anne.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) May 18, 2011 at 12:58 AM
District 200 has always said, and still maintains their position that they want to sell the property for purposes of redevelopment. There hasn't even been an official offer (to my knowledge) from the nonprofit.
Jim McMahon May 18, 2011 at 06:20 AM
I think the Islamic school will bring wackos from both sides of the spectrum. Plus the added police protection will cost money. I think any school Christian or public is not what we need there.
John Wheaton Doe May 18, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Charlotte- Thank you for your opinion regarding regarding District 200's position that they want to sell the property for purposes of "redevelopment". However, their position is vague and the citation of "commercial" redevelopment leads the public to believe that their intent is to sell is to an entity that will pay property taxes as opposed to a non profit entity. If the School Board's intent is to maximize tax revenue for the district and the City, they need to ensure that the entire property isn't purchased by a non profit. Please see the FAQ's article published on CUSD200's website: http://www.cusd200.org/cusdsandbox/lib/cusdsandbox/Hubble_FAQs_Feb_2011.pdf Question "What are the benefits of selling the old Hubble / Central property for COMMERCIAL re-development?" Answer: "Any portion of the property that is commercially developed goes on the tax rolls for the long-term benefit of all taxing bodies." Question: "Why is CUSD 200 “rushing” to sell the old Hubble / Central Property?" Answer: Re-development of the property for COMMERCIAL use eases the taxpayer burden for the entire CUSD 200 community who has supported the school district throughout the years.
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) May 18, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Hi John, I'm sorry if my comment indicated an opinion. It was not meant that way. I commented with what board members have said this week about their intentions. My apologies. Thank you for posting this link!

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