Friday, March 17, 2006

VCUSD Officials Unveil Bids for District's Parcels

VCUSD Officials Unveil Bids for District's Parcels
By SARAH ROHRS, Times-Herald staff writer

It wasn't exactly Oscars night, but anticipation was running pretty high Thursday when Vallejo school district officials opened sealed envelopes and shook out pieces of paper with bids on four district parcels.

As the bids were opened and written on large sheets of paper taped to the wall, district officials got an idea of how much money could be made when the four parcels are sold to help balance the district's budget.

State law says Vallejo can use proceeds from the sale of land to reduce or retire its emergency loan from the state, but must do so by June 2007.

Sealed bids were opened at the district administrative offices on Valle Vista Avenue - one of the parcels up for sale.

KB Homes, a massive California housing development firm, said it would pay $20 million for an 18-acre site along Rollingwood Avenue while Triad Communities Inc. bid $5 million for all four parcels, and $3.5 million for the district office.

Local developer Paul Roberts bid $967,500 for the McKinley Adult School site. Castle Companies bid $4 million for the district office on Valle Vista Avenue and $2 million for a parcel adjacent to Federal Terrace Elementary School.

To raise money to pay off the $60 million state bail-out loan, Damelio wants to sell the four parcels through public bids. He's estimated they could be worth between $25 million and $30 million. Ideally, property sales will generate a reliable income for loan payments and free up general fund money for education.

A total of 11 bids were submitted, but one was disqualified because a $25,000 security check was not included.

The 18 acres at Rollingwood Avenue and Benicia Road drew the most interest. KB's $20 million bid was far and away the highest one submitted for this parcel.

Jim Barcewski, owner of Jim Barcewski Development, said the Rollingwood land is desirable for home development.

"It's in a nice part of town and is a big piece of land. It's in good shape," Barcewski said.

As he looked over the bids, Damelio said "it's too early to tell," how much the parcel sales could eventually yield. He and his staff will examine the bid documents more closely, paying particular attention to conditions developers may want on the sales.

The district could reject all the bids after analyzing them, said Floyd Gonella, Damelio's adviser.

"Clean bids are important. A million conditions won't be good for us," Gonella told about 20 developers who were on hand.

Gonella told developers a decision will be made "in a relatively short time," possibly in early April.

The sale of the Rollingwood parcel would displace 261 East Vallejo Little Leaguers who will need another place to play baseball. It is adjacent to the former site of a drive-in movie theater which has been vacant for years.

Damelio said he has met with East Vallejo Little League representatives to determine if the district can help them find a new home.

The four parcels are at the following locations:

- McKinley Adult School, 1.5 acres at 1140 Capitol St.

- School district administration building, 6.8 acres at 211 Valle Vista Ave.

- Rollingwood site, 18 acres at Rollingwood Avenue and Benicia Road.

- Federal Terrace Elementary, 2.2 acres at Selfridge and Cunningham streets.

- E-mail Sarah Rohrs at or call 553-6832.

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