The South Adams Schools Board, at a special meeting on Friday, accepted a bid of $747,300 from CDI Development Services LLC, for the former elementary school property located at the corner of US 27 and St. Route 218 in Berne.
The bid from CDI was the only one received and it is $54,500 more than the most recent appraised value of $693,000. However, the property appraised for $721,000 in 2011, when the deal with GKB Enterprises to build a CVS store fell through.
The purchase price is $747,300, and the fee of $42,300 for the broker employed by CDI will be paid from the schools' proceeds at the closing. This makes the net price $705,000.
One condition of the bid is that commitments from the prime users have been secured by CDI. Another condition is that the development plans are approved by the required governmental authorities.
CDI Development Services is a national development company based in Akron, Ohio, that has been in business for nearly four decades. According to Superintendent Scott 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.
Board members Tony Mellencamp and Steve Dobler were not present at the meeting.
The school board is expected to accept the bidder's purchase terms agreement at its April 10 meeting.
In personnel business at the meeting, the employment of Emily Cook as a full-time Title I aide was approved. Also, Joni Bixler's employment as a part-time Title I aide was approved, pending a clear criminal history check.