The South Adams Schools Corporation moved forward with the sale of the former elementary school property, located at the corner of US 27 and SR 218 in Berne, when a purchase and sale agreement was signed at this week's board meeting.
A bid of $747,300 was accepted at the end of March from CDI Development Services, LLC, which was the only bid received.
Superintendent Scott Litwiller worked with attorney Tim Baker and CDI to draft an agreement in an acceptable form. Litwiller said, "Once CDI receives the executed copies of the agreement, they will pursue the earnest money deposit [of $10,000] and will send the deposit to the escrow agent along with the agreements for receipting."
Baker, who was on hand for the meeting, said that CDI will do a thorough investigation of the property during a 120-day due diligence period. Up to two 60-day extensions may be requested at a cost of $7,500 each time.
According to the agreement, closing is set to be within 30 days following the due diligence period. Baker said that it could close in fewer than 120 days, but that he expects it will be closer to the end of the 120-day period, and even possibly after an extension.
"I think the purchase agreement is in good shape, and I certainly recommend that the board sign it," said Baker. School board members authorized Litwiller to sign the document.
CDI Development Services is a national development company based in Akron, Ohio, that has been in business for nearly four decades. According Litwiller, CDI already has a confirmed interest from a grocery operation that intends to build a grocery store and an Amish country store that specializes in bulk foods, Amish specialty goods and gifts. CDI is also negotiating with owners of a quality Amish-style restaurant.
In total, said Litwiller, there could be three to five different retail establishments on the property.
Litwiller said that CDI will begin the development of formal site plans, and it is the company's intention to work closely with the city of Berne and the city's planning commission to develop the entire site to clearly exhibit a Swiss theme and architectural elements. CDI said it will strive to make this project one of which the community can be proud.