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Developer Buys Central High School Site for $10M

December 29, 2014 10:32 PM

The Duluth School District has entered into a purchase agreement for sale of the Central High School site.

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On Monday, the district announced that the 77-acre site is being sold to Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors for $10 million. The sale will close by July 31, 2015.

In a statement provided by ISD 709, Harbor Bay Principal and Co-Founder Tom Lund said they are "extremely enthusiastic about the development potential at such a large and iconic site." Lund said they will be working closely with the City of Duluth and have had interest from several users.

The district had been working with the  city to re-zone the property and sell it in parcels, which could have taken up to give years. The district's property and risk manager, Kerry Leider, said they are pleased that the entire site has been purchased as a whole.

"We were pretty much getting to the point where we felt we were going to have to divide the property in order to sell it," Leider said. "It's going to save the school district in the long run."

Leider said selling the property in parcels would've meant having to jump some major hurdles, including road reconstruction and utility projects. 

The deed includes a restriction that keeps Harbor Bay from using the property as a school for kids ages 5 to 18.

Harbor Bay says the project will create jobs in construction, design and engineering. The company is also working on development of a 148-unit housing and retail complex at London Road and 21st Avenue East.

Central High School was closed in 2011 as part of the Duluth School District's "red plan," which reduced the number of high schools in the city to two.


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