Three Seaside School District’s properties will go to the real estate market this spring, as the district plans on selecting Norris & Stevens to represent the sales of Gearhart Elementary School, Broadway Middle School and Seaside High School.
The schools will be sold, to be replaced by a new campus outside the tsunami zone.
After a request for proposals, three commercial real estate brokers, each based in Portland with a local component, responded.
Building and grounds committee members conducted interviews with each broker before selecting Norris & Stevens.
Board members Lori Lum and Mark Truax, who served on the committee, said the group rated applicants on a variety of factors, including price, references, past experience, and knowledge and understanding of the market.
Patrick Nofield said Norris & Stevens was “head and shoulders” above the other two agencies. At the meeting, he moved that the district hire Norris & Stevens to sell the three district properties.
The company reached out the board chairman Steve Phillips in June 2018 to discuss the properties and express interest in representing the district.
“When it came to this process of picking, I took myself completely out of it because I had had contact with them earlier,” Phillips said. “I was truly impressed when they initially sat down with me, the homework they had done.”
Truax agreed that when it came to the formal interview, they did not “go in blindly,” but have already articulated a plan for how they will go about the sell.
“They want to see something once they get it listed, and they weren’t going to let it just sit there for a number months,” Truax said. “They were going to continue to change marketing, or reevaluate price, or reevaluate who they were listing it to. They have such a huge database available to them in this business of buying property.”
Buildings will be listed all at once, building and grounds committee member Truax said. “It’s going to take outside-the-box thinking to sell it in a timely manner, and they seem to have all those covered.”
The district will work with the city of Seaside on possible transactions for the high school’s “North 40” and 7 North Broadway, owned by the school district but home to the Seaside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.
Three acres sought by the city for the placement of a new reservoir on the new campus are also under discussion. The reservoir will provide water to the new school and to homes in the neighboring Southeast Hills.
The future of Cannon Beach Elementary School, also owned by the district, could also be decided this spring, superintendent Sheila Roley said, as the district continues negotiations with the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum.
“The Cannon Beach History Center made an offer on Cannon Beach Elementary, to bring that back to life for the community and tribal history, and the board was happy with their offer,” Roley said. “We’re in the process of negotiating the terms of the sale. They’ve offered $400,000, which based on our evaluation, is a fair price for that as an as-is price.”
A building inspection and seismic studies remain, she added. “We’re working on some of the financial pieces, but in theory, everyone is happy.”
The transaction could be complete in April, Roley said. “It takes time to do these things.”