Tonawanda News

Local News

October 10, 2012

Central School sale debated

Tonawanda News — Superintendent Whitney Vantine attended his last board meeting Tuesday night before his retirement next week. 

During his presentation, he recommended the board determine Central School’s future — a decision he sees as important on the district’s lengthy to-do list. 

“My suggestion is to consider taking action at the next meeting Oct. 23,” Vantine said.  

He invited realtor Ed Woods to the meeting to answer questions about the possible sale of the building and what services he would provide. Woods works for Realty USA, the same company that represented the board during the sale of Highland Elementary — a fact that worried some board members, as Highland Elementary still sits vacant after its sale to S. Spoth, LLC last spring. 

“Would you ask a realtor to sell your house if he failed the last time?” Board member Sharon Stuart asked Vantine. 

Vantine said he is recommending Woods as a result of the comfort of use with Realty USA during the sale of Highland.

“They successfully got it sold at auction and off the school board,” Vantine said. 

But board members said they would like to review other possible realtors to sell the facility before deciding on Realty USA. 

Woods, however, did respond to Stuart’s concerns and said the initial list price for Highland of $440,000 was likely too high, and may have caused the property to remain on the market for a longer period of time — thereby hurting its chances for a successful sale.

“The area around Central is a very nice neighborhood,” he said. “It may lend itself to residential use in an area that already has established prices.”

Woods said he would market primarily to developers via direct mail and the Internet. Although non-for-profits may elect to use the building, they generally work with a developer who purchases the property. 

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