TUSD to consider selling closed school site to Tucson homebuilder

2014-05-13T00:00:00Z 2014-06-18T16:04:04Z TUSD to consider selling closed school site to Tucson homebuilderBy Alexis Huicochea Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Tucson Unified School District is hoping the third time will be a charm when it comes to the sale of the now-closed Wrightstown Elementary School site.

Tonight, the Governing Board will consider selling the 9.2-acre site after two previous offers fell through.

The latest offer comes from Pepper Viner Investment Company II, LLC, which is looking to turn the east side campus into a residential subdivision. The sale price would be $1.3 million — about $300,000 less than the previous offers that the Governing Board has approved in the last two years.

In December, the Governing Board approved a sale to Mahalo Development LLC that called for up to 80 single-family homes at the site, 8950 E. Wrightstown Road.

That offer was withdrawn when the company determined that the $1.6 million project wasn’t financially feasible, said Bryant Nodine, TUSD’s director of planning and student assignment.

Before that, in 2012, a group of Tucson developers planned to build luxury homes at the site but stopped the project, citing concerns by neighbors over traffic issues and home values.

The Pepper Viner sale, if approved, is contingent on a successful rezoning of the property.

The final number of homes would need to be determined through meetings with neighbors and approvals by the City of Tucson.

TUSD has not discussed the latest deal with the Wrightstown neighborhood, Nodine said. It will be the responsibility of the developer to meet with residents.

While Pepper Viner’s offer is lower than the two previous agreements, it is still higher than the appraised value, Nodine said. As part of the contract, TUSD will require that for a period of two years from the closing Pepper Viner would be prohibited from using the property for a charter school.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@azstarnet.com or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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