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Last week, San Diego Unified's Advisory Committee for Utilization of Excess School Property voted in favor of selling seven unneeded properties for some much-needed cash.

And as we reported yesterday, the estimated $122 million deficit for next year has forced the district to sell the properties at a discounted price.

One of those sites is Barnard Elementary in Point Loma. The 9.37-acre parcel was appraised for $9.135 million, or, $22.38 per square foot. That's a good price, considering it's already zoned for residential development. It's an even better deal considering that prices in the area have sold for around $76.50 per square foot, according to one source.

It's not just the reduced price that has some worried. Some fear that a large-mixed-use development would bring more school-aged children to the neighborhood, a neighborhood without an elementary school.

Jim Varnadore, chair of the the excess property advisory committee is one of those people now voicing concerns about the value of Barnard Elementary. He expressed those concerns in a May 11 letter to school board members and superintendent Bill Kowba.

"Your May 29 meeting includes considering selling certain excess properties or portions of them. Some of the proposed sites should be sold, given the district’s circumstances, even though this is the worst real estate market in living memory. One site, the Barnard campus, should not be sold, but held and leased. That will be a better action than divesting."

Added Varnadore: "The site is the District’s last remaining large site in the Peninsula area. It’s in good condition, so its condition argues for keeping it. Because it’s in a residential zoned area, it will, if sold, be built out with an intense residential project, the kind that attracts families with school-age children. The loss of the Barnard campus would be a double hit, reducing school space while increasing density and the need for classroom space."

The board will discuss the item at their May 29 meeting.

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Visduh May 15, 2012 @ 4:02 p.m.

"Worst real estate market in living memory?" Really? His hyperbole is showing. This is certainly not the best of times for selling real estate, and if the district insists upon a sale within a year it will probably not get as high a price as it should receive. Living memory goes back a lot farther than the 90's, folks.


Gail Powell May 23, 2012 @ 3:25 p.m.

I remember back a few years ago in the good ole days how SDUSD planned to close Barnard, sell it off and build inexpensive condos on the property to sell or rent to potential school teachers--luring them to work for district. Then, there was to be a park or green space in the empty lot full of weeds that sits right next to the school. I wish that the school district would sell the property to the city or county to use specifically as dedicated open space. The Barnard school area is already congested & impacted enough as it is.


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