One Step Closer to SPUSD Land Swap | School Board Unanimously Approves RFP

Board of Education Approves Request for Proposal on a property exchange as a result of its aging, dysfunctional offices at 1020 El Centro Street in South Pasadena

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | Superintendent Geoff Yantz and Board of Education President, Suzie Abajian

South Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education members unanimously approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) on a proposed property exchange during their November meeting.

SPUSD Superintendent Dr. Geoff Yantz said the RFP would be made to the public, developers and investors interested in swapping properties.

The South Pasadena Unified School District is located at 1020 El Centro Street and includes a large parking area facing Mission Street.

“We will accept proposals, review them and consider whether this should be pursued further or not,” explained the superintendent.

A request for proposal (RFP) is a business document that provides details about a project and solicits bids from contractors to help complete the project.

The board has gone through several years of planning and preparation to get to this point in the process before voting on the Requests for Proposals to consider a property exchange or swap for the school district offices.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com News | South Pasadena Unified School District Headquarters

“It’s necessary to accomplish a number of objectives,” explained Yantz. “One is to have a safe and efficient offices that are reflective of our public educational system. Another is to ensure we don’t expend our funds for fixing, storing and repairing this building. Because of it age, it’s expensive. It’s also an opportunity to restore this building and preserve it a much longer period of time.”

According to Yantz, an exchange is one of three or four different options that a school district has for a property transaction. “In essence, an exchange occurs when an interested buyer or developer purchases another property which the district has an interest in moving into in exchange for the district property.”

Yantz said the property disposition objectives include:

  • To have a safe, energy efficient, and functional administrative office and training facility with 21st century features to house all current SPUSD administrative and SPEF functions.
  • To provide physical space for educationally-related support programs and other district administrative needs.
  • To promote economic, social, and cultural vitality in the Mission Street corridor in collaboration with the community and the City of South Pasadena.
  • To restore and preserve the historic building and architectural heritage.
  • To sustain or generate on-going revenue to support the long-term financial health of the District.

A document provided by the District, further outlines why a swap of land is being considered by the Board of Eduction:

  • District Office property is in need of significant and costly safety, electrical, plumbing and workspace improvements.
  • The District is pursuing a property swap strategy which is one of four possible permitted strategies for property transactions.
  • The are no District financial resources being expended to pursue the property swap.
  • The process is approximately two years if a suitable property is secured.
  • Seeking a minimum of 20,000 square feet with parking and possible income property.
  • City has authority over development and process – property type, density, public benefit, preservation, etc.
  • City expressly requested that the RFP be least restrictive as possible.
  • Historic preservation.
  • Property will be required to meet the City’s development standards in the City’s Master Plan and Mission Street Specific Plan.

Property Exchange Objectives

  • To have a safe, energy efficient, and functional administrative office and training facility with 21st century features to house all current SPUSD administrative and SPEF functions.
  • To provide physical space for educationally-related support programs and other district administrative needs.
  • To promote economic, social, and cultural vitality in the Mission Street corridor in collaboration with the community and the City of South Pasadena.
  • To restore and preserve the historic building and architectural heritage.
  • To sustain or generate on-going revenue to support the long term financial health of the District.

Handling the transaction will be Sam Manoukian, a RE/MAX broker specializing in commercial property transactions who in prior meetings has shared an outline of a process he recommends as the district moves forward with a land swap of District property.

 

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