City opens bid process for the McKinley School property

By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — The City Council took the first step to sell the McKinley School property and approved the guidelines for qualified bids Monday.

The council will consider bids to use the existing building or demolish it and build a new structure. In either event, the council will only accept bids that conform to the current residential zoning. The city is only willing to re-zone the property, 640 Plum St., within the limits of residential housing to include single- or multiple-family housing.

There is no asking price for the property, but a $10,000 deposit is required for any bid. The deposit would be applied to the final purchase price of the property. The building sits vacant and would be sold “as is.” The city acquired the property through a transfer of property from the school board.

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is being conducted by the city to consider the potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities by taking soil, air, groundwater and building materials. This report, the council said, would be available by the time bids are accepted.

Bidders can preview the property from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 25. Sealed bids will be accepted after the walk-through is complete until 2 p.m. Nov. 4, when they will be opened and read aloud.

Residents approached the council to address their concerns about the park adjacent to the property. David Budrie, who lives on Plum Street, said he did not want to see the park included with the sale of the property because it was an “essential” amenity to the residents in the area. He also addressed the rumors of potential plans for the property.

Budrie was assured by Mayor Joseph Peterson there was never a plan to include the park in the sale because the city does not have enough parks to offer to its residents. Peterson said the park is the only one available to the children in the area and the city spent a significant amount of Tax Increment Financing Authority money to develop it.

“There is no reasonable reason to sell that park or include it in any package deal with this property,” he said. “That is the only park available to the surrounding residents and the neighborhood deserves that park.”

Peterson said the city does not have anything “in the works” and insisted that they city is making the property available to find the “best solution for the property and the best solution for the neighborhood.”

City Engineer Mark Kowalewski echoed the mayor’s comments and said the city has a recreation master plan that indicates the city is “short of park area” considering the size of the city.

“The city should have more parks, especially in comparison to other cities,” he said. “We are definitely not looking to get rid of that park.”

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)

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