Cleveland Heights City Council unanimously approved a lease proposal for the former Millikin School at its .
The proposal was drafted by lawyers representing Mosdos Ohr Hatorah, the Orthodox Jewish School that has consistently shown interest in the building and offered to purchase it, and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District, which owns the property.
The non-binding agreement is meant to spell out some of the details of a possible lease before an actual lease is drafted to make sure all interested parties are on the same page. One of the terms is that the school would be leased to the city, and Cleveland Heights would sublease to Mosdos.
Councilman Jason Stein thanked Mosdos officials and families for "having the vision and determination to persevere the last seven years."
"At times, it appeared that there was no hope to ever have Millikin used as a school again. Yet Mosdos did not abandon Cleveland Heights by relocating the school elsewhere. Mosdos Ohr Hatorah has made a huge commitment to Cleveland Heights, and this Council recognizes that commitment and thanks you," said Stein, whose children attend Mosdos.
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board at its regular meeting Aug. 7 at the building. Mosdos signed the agreement as well.
The proposal indicates that Mosdos would need to make the $1.5 million in permanent improvements to the building within the first 18 months of the lease, said Steve Shergalis, director of business services for CH-UH.
The terms would be for 30 years at $1 per year, Shergalis said. There would be two consecutive options to renew for an additional 10 years at market value, and Mosdos would be responsible for all taxes, maintenance, insurance and utilities.
Many of the details won't be confirmed until an actual lease is drafted, such as what exactly the city's responsibilities would be and how the board would determine "market value" should Mosdos want to renew its lease in 30 years, said Alan Rapoport, an attorney representing Mosdos and former Cleveland Heights mayor.
For more details, read our about the Millikin lease proposal.