the sale of the Stewart School campus to Morningside Equities Group Inc. for $5,112,000. The appraised value of the property was $4-4.5 million.
(In comparison, Trumbull School in Edgewater, approximately the same size and vintage, sold for $5,250,000 less than a month ago.)
Regarding the workshops conducted by Metropolitan Planning Council a year and a half ago, the press release from CPS says, "Following an extensive community engagement process to determine the property’s preferred use, the site will be redeveloped to incorporate residential housing, retail and restaurant space, a community plaza and playground."
Specifically, "The bid approved today meets the community’s redevelopment criteria, which specifies that the site must be redeveloped to incorporate residential housing, retail and/or restaurant space, a community plaza or town square, and space for community programming including community gardens, space for a farmers market, community theater space, youth educational or recreational space, or job training.
The agreement also requires Morningside to preserve the building’s unique and historical character and to seek landmark designation from the City’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks."
Metropolitan Planning Council held three meetings in May 2014 to give residents the opportunity to discuss and decide what they wanted to see developed at the school site. MCS released its summary of the community input in August 2014, a copy of which is linked on Ald. Cappleman's website.
We wish the building had been able to become the new home of Decatur Classical School, but realistically, a $12-15 million price tag to retrofit a property that sold for $5 million didn't make sense.
It's a pleasant surprise that CPS took the community's desires into account when selling the building and grounds. We are well aware that the cash-strapped school system wasn't obligated to pay any attention to our requests at all, and may have been able to get a higher price for the property if it had sold it without any restrictions on its next usage.
We can't wait to see the renderings of what Morningside has in mind for its newest property.