Omaha, Neb. developer proposes purchase of Wellington Junior High classrooms


first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington school board has received several offers the past five years from developers wishing to turn the former junior high building into an apartment complex. So far nothing has panned out.The latest offer comes from Mike Fallesen, Vice President of Affordable Housing Development, Seldin Company in Omaha, Neb. He brought a different proposal to the board at last week’s meeting that hasn’t been heard before. His company wants to purchase “part” of the building.Fallesen said after looking at the building, the company is interested in rebuilding the classrooms into apartments, but not to purchase the auditorium or the gymnasium. “I’m here tonight to ask you if you are at all interested in the proposal,” Fallesen said. “Because if you are then we could go ahead and have an architect look at drawing up some plans.”The Wellington school board, which has all but put a “For Sale” sign on the junior high front lawn, was more than willing to listen.“I think that is a good idea,” said board member Angie Ratcliff. “It could work to our advantage. When we tried to sell the junior high building previously, a lot of people were concerned about losing the locker room space for the football teams.”The building has been used sparingly since 2006 when the junior high students were moved to the new middle school to the north. Since that point, the building has been used by the Wellington Community Theater, middle school basketball practices, locker rooms for officials and football teams, and ghost hunts. Board members and administrators have expressed concern with the amount of money spent on utility, insurance and upkeep to the seldom used building. But there have been a few developers of multi-family apartment complexes who have looked at turning the building into rental property. The property was rezoned by the Wellington City Council into a multi-family residential complex.Garrison Properties of Prairie Villiage, Kansas City had tried twice to purchase the building and make it into 42-unit apartment complex, but was unable to procure federal housing tax credits and the deal fell through both times in May 2013 and 2014. The board approved selling the building for $150,000.Fallesen said after looking at the building, he thought the classrooms would be excellent for developing into a complex but the auditorium and gymnasium are so large that it would not be financial feasible for the company to get a good return on its investment. He also thinks the building could qualify on the National Register of Historical Places. That has not been an aspect that previous developers mentioned.The proposal set off a discussion on how the arrangement would work, sharing ownership with another company from insurance to liability, etc. Also, there was some discussion on how the building could be separated into two entities: one for apartment dwellers and the community wishing to use the auditorium and gymnasium.“Those are things we can discuss in the future,” Fallesen said. “Right now I’m here to ask if you are interested.”The board members expressed almost unanimously that they most certainly were.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +9 Vote up Vote down David · 304 weeks ago If this proposal moves forward and the classrooms are sold a portion of the money should be used to overhaul the current locker rooms and restrooms for use by the football teams and also tennis courts. These locker rooms are in sad shape and could use to be cleaned out and have some fresh paint thrown on them. Report Reply 0 replies · active 304 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down WHSAlum · 304 weeks ago This sounds like a Win, Win solution. Partial sale and partial decrease in expense/liability and still being able to keep the items that are being used by USD 353 and other community groups. Not sure how/if it can all work, but it almost sounds like a perfect solution. I hope USD 353 will take the time to research this possibility. Report Reply 0 replies · active 304 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! 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