The San Diego Unified School District is selling off seven properties in order to stay afloat – including the campuses of Barnard Elementary and Mission Beach Elementary schools.
Barnard is located at 2930 Barnard Street, a block from West Point Loma Avenue in the Midway area. The 9.37 acre parcel is in the “coastal zone” and is on the chopping block for a minimum bid of $9.14 million. Originally opened during World War II for Navy children, the elementary school was acquired by the District after the war.
The other parcel for sale in the beach area is the former site of Mission Beach Elementary School, closed for years due to the steady decline of school-aged children in Mission Beach. That chose property is a half block from Mission Bay and a block from the sand and Pacific Ocean. It is 2.23 acres in size and only has a $11 million minimum bid on it.
Some locals think that this move by the School District is the old proverbial saying, “cutting off your nose to spite your face”, as it is selling off valuable investment properties for a one-time quick fix and influx of cash, whereas if the District maintained the properties, leased them or developed them, the investments would generate revenue on a yearly basis. Not only that, others feel the minimum asking prices are too small, especially for prime coastal properties.
The U-T San Diego reported:
The district earns nearly $6.9 million a year from leases and ground leases of its surplus property. Eight former schools have been leased to private schools. Two properties that were once vacant are under contract in four ground leases.
Yet the District is desperate. It hopes to receive proceeds in the amount of $26.7 million to offset its $120 million deficit in its $1.1 billion budget for 2012-13. Board President John Lee Evans stated:
“We really didn’t have a choice given the budget situation. My hope is that we won’t have to sell anything more. We have valuable assets and I’d like us to develop ways to develop long-term revenue streams from them.”
The clock on all this is already running. On June 22nd this year, the Board voted to place the 7 surplus properties on the market. Public agencies – who get first dibs – were notified several days later, plus ads for the sale have been published. September 7th is the deadline for public agencies to submit an offer to buy property. After that, the properties become available to private sector bids. By late September, the bids from the private sector will be opened, with the sale price able to be raised by an oral bidding auction. The board must vote on each agreement of purchase with the highest bidder. Escrow will open in late October or early November, with March 2013 planned for the close of Escrow.
See the U-T article here.