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At the Aug. 10 City Council meeting, aldermen approved changes to the proposed sale of the building housing the Chiaravalle Montessori School at425 Dempster St
. The changes allow Chiaravalle to pay the purchase price and park contribution totaling $2.1 million to the City in annual installments beginning at closing and concluding in December, 2013. The ordinance passed without debate in either the Administration and Public Works Committee or the City Council meeting.
The City leased the building, which once housed Miller School, to the Montessori in the late ’90s. According to a memo to the City Manager from Interim First Assistant Corporation Counsel Elke Tober-Purze, the lease is in its 11th of 25 years and the Montessori has two 10-year options, with rent set at $45,000 a year rising to $55,000 and then $65,000 before the options kick in.
The City and School negotiated a purchase price last year, but in February “the school requested certain modifications to the structure of the purchase transaction” according to the memo. The agreed-upon purchase price, $1.9 million for the building, plus an additional $200,000 in park contributions, will not change. But the payment dates will.
The revised contract calls for a payment schedule as follows: $400,000 plus a $100,000 park contribution at closing (which must take place on or before May 15, 2010; $400,000 by Dec. 31, 2010; $400,000 by Dec. 31, 2011; $400,000 by Dec. 31, 2012; and $300,000 plus the second $100,000 park contribution by Dec.31, 2013.
Under the contract, if the school wishes to sell the building to an entity that plans to change the use from a school to anything else, the City has the right to repurchase the building for the purchase price plus the actual cost of any renovations the school has made.
The sale applies to the building only, adjacent Currey Park will remain City property. The revised ordinance, with a revised contract and related documentation, sailed through open Council meetings without any debate whatsoever. The only comments made were a special thank you, delivered by Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, to Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, for her efforts.