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UPDATED: Millikin Appraisals From CH-UH, Mosdos Released

Appraisers working with the CH-UH School District assessed the property at $770K while the appraisers working with Mosdos Ohr Hatorah believe the property is worth $600K.

Updated 5:15 p.m. Wednesday

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District released the new Tuesday, and appraisers believe market value of the property is about $770,000.

Charles M. Ritley Associates conducted the new appraisal for the district, and wrote that the school building and surrounding land at 8.2 acres is valued at $740,000. The Beachwood company determined the additional 2.6 acres of land, which includes green space and the Millikin Barn, formerly on the Severance Longwood Estate, is valued at $34,000.

An assessment from 2005 conducted by David E. Walter & Associates indicated the now vacant property at 1700 Crest Road , said Superintendent Douglas Heuer in a statement released in February.

Mosdos Ohr Hatorah, a K-12 private Orthodox Jewish school, and sparked the . The school has offered the district $550,000, which Heuer initially said was too low based on the 2005 assessment.

“… we remain firmly committed to ensuring this community receives fair value for its investment. There is simply no reason for the district to sell this property at an unfairly low price,” he said.

Mosdos officials also conducted their own updated appraisal, and appraisers from Charles P. Braman & Co. believe the value, if the building is used as a school, is $600,000.

Alan Rapoport, a former Cleveland Heights mayor and an attorney representing Mosdos, said people must keep in mind that an appraisal is an opinion.

“Appraisals can give you some guidance. We definitely have to examine the report in more detail,” he said. “You sort of have to look at not only the expert’s opinion, but you have to look at the facts on which the opinions are based.”

Rapoport said he met with the district’s attorney today, and they traded appraisals.

“Each party has to digest the information … We’re having a more intelligent conversation around facts.”

CH-UH School Board President Karen Jones said in a written statement that board members are carefully reviewing the appraisal and will meet in an executive session soon to discuss the options for the property.

"This particular appraisal is based on the value of current property as is, and under current zoning. That is significantly different than the conditions that were placed on the appraisal in 2005," Jones said. "We are determined to find a solution that benefits the immediate neighborhood and the community as a whole."

The board had put the property up for sale in 2006 when the school closed and received four offers, Heuer said. The highest was $500,000.

In addition, the board made formal requests for proposals in 2009 and 2010, but no one sent an offer, he said.

A group of residents who live in the Millikin School neighborhood revived the Millikin issue when they told the CH-UH School Board at its that they wanted the property to remain a school, arguing it would significantly improve the neighborhood, increase property values and attract new residents. Supporters of Mosdos at Millikin .

They had heard the district and the City of Cleveland Heights were considering leasing the space to a call center. At that time, Economic Development Director Howard Thompson said a company was interested, but didn't provide more details.

“We’ve been approached by someone from outside the state about utilizing the facility,” Thompson said in February. “There’s a great deal of jobs involved with it.”

City Councilman Jason Stein, whose children attend Mosdos, wants the CH-UH School Board or district to make its intentions known before among Cleveland Heights, University Heights and the board Monday.

“Until the school board makes its decision public, it’s difficult to close any other school buildings in Cleveland Heights or University Heights,” Stein said, referring to the that calls for closing , and elementary schools. “I feel that those who have supported returning Millikin as a community asset are validated.”

Stein also challenged the district's interpretation of the old appraisal at a board meeting, suggesting that at that time, the building was really valued at $874,400, as long as the property would be used as a school.

Now that the new appraisals are ready, Stein said he's ready to move on.

"It’s time to move forward and do the right thing for the schools, and for the city and the community."

Demi Ton May 09, 2012 at 12:04 AM
I believe Stein should recuse himself from the discussion given he has a personal and vested interest in the outcome of this decision. In no way does that imply that I believe the school shouldn't be sold, but to be so vocally outspoken, as a member of City Council, when your children are affected by this decision seems more than self-serving.
Emily Jones May 09, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Finally, the truth. This whole process has been a disgrace. The Superintendent and School Board have much to answer for.
Emily Jones May 09, 2012 at 01:59 AM
OMG, Transparency! The School Board and Heuer have been telling us that Mosdos' offer was an "unfairly low price". That was not true! Lying to the public is NOT ok..
Garry Kanter May 09, 2012 at 09:19 AM
Give it a rest, lady. Nobody's "Lying to the public". "Alan Rapoport, a former Cleveland Heights mayor and an attorney representing Mosdos, said people must keep in mind that an appraisal is an opinion. "“Appraisals can give you some guidance. We definitely have to examine the report in more detail,” he said. “You sort of have to look at not only the expert’s opinion, but you have to look at the facts on which the opinions are based.”"
parker May 09, 2012 at 01:33 PM
have there been any discussions about a development agreement for the property or other methods of retaining a city interest in the property to ensure it is developed according to certain standards or recoup additional money in the event it is ever re-sold or used for other purposes besides a school. it seems there are a lot of possibilities between a straight sale or long term lease that could protect both parties.
Maxwell Briggs May 09, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I disagree. Almost everything that a city council member has to vote on directly affects them or their families. That is the nature of local politics. If city council members had to recuse themselves from issues that directly affect them, then they would have to recuse themselves from all meaningful votes, or they would have to live outside the city. If he had a family member that was placing a bid on the property, I would agree, but I don't think that is the case.
Emily Jones May 10, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Gary Kanter, you enjoy grandstanding and attacking anyone that does not agree with you. Fine, but don't talk to me like I am of less intelligence than you because I am a "lady". You are clearly inappropriate in your tone. You owe me an apology. But, I wont hold my breath. Your mean spirited tactics are the reason that Oakwood is becoming a "big box" paradise! And now, you were wrong again about Millikin being worth millions and the Millikin neighborhood making a public "plea" about nothing. If it was not for the activism of the Millikin neighbors, the school board would NEVER have requested a CURRENT appraisal. Cheers to the Millikin neighborhood for taking this issue and fighting for the TRUTH!
John H. May 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM
So the District can put it on the market for $740- and keep the extra acreage for a park if it wants. Let Mosdos counter offer if they want, and sell it like any other property between two parties, through negotiation. Or auction it. Best offer wins. If it's a call center, that's life. if it's a school, great.
Garry Kanter May 11, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Please document my "grandstanding", "attacks", where I said "Millikin was worth millions", how my "mean spirited tactics are the reason that Oakwood is becoming a "big box" paradise", or any other BS accusations you've repeatedly made about me. Then maybe you can tell us who is doing all this "lying" you keep harping on about. And yes, calling you a "lady" was an obvious error on my part. I would correct it, but Michelle restricts what can be posted here.
marandalaw12 May 11, 2012 at 07:48 PM
And Then.."Water Main Break"..

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