Manatee County school district to sell two more properties

eearl@bradenton.comSeptember 14, 2013 

MANATEE -- The Manatee County School District is selling more of its real estate.

On the auction block are the Parent Information Center in Bradenton and 1.7 acres of vacant land in Ellenton.

The school board approved the two properties for surplus in February 2009. In June 2012, the properties were once again earmarked as surplus.

The Parent Information Center is located at 234 Manatee Ave. E and 5th Ave. Drive E. The 5,280-square-foot office building, just southeast of Manatee Memorial Hospital, sits on .78 acre. The property also includes a small, partially vacant parcel with parking.

The Parent Information Center was used for school registration and provided parents with information about school choice, charter schools, magnet schools and home schooling.

Susan Goldstein, a commercial property expert at Michael Saunders & Company, said the property was appraised in April at $840,000.

"It could be a good prospect for a medical office or professional office, such as an attorney's office or a company that supports the hospital," Goldstein said.

Stephen Valley, spokes

man for the school district, said the district has tried to sell the Parent Information Center in the past, but did not approve the sale because the offer was far under the appraised value.

Calls to Mike Pendley, the district's executive planner for facility planning and land acquisition, were not returned.

The district also is selling is 1.7 acres at 816 Leffingwell Ave. in Ellenton. The property was once home to Ellenton School.

Under then-superintendent Tim McGonegal, the district and the County Commission discussed the county taking responsibility for the property as a public park.

When the school district was trying to sell the property a couple years ago, some residents contacted the County Commission and expressed the desire to keep the property as is for the use of a park, Commissioner Michael Gallen said.

"The community wanted to use it as is as a green space," Gallen said.

The school board held on to the property after receiving no offers the first time they tried to sell it, which was about two years ago, according to school board member Bob Gause.

Gause said the district had the former school building removed, because it was "unattractive" and a "nuisance."

Goldstein said the property, which is surrounded by single-family dwellings, would be best served for residential use.

The property has potential for a 10-unit apartment building, or to be divided into lots for homes.

Goldstein said the property was appraised at $460,000 in 2005, but now it is likely "a fraction" of that value.

The deadline to make an offer on the two properties is 3 p.m. Sept. 30.

Erica Earl, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.

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