Jefferson School sale on hold

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2005

Downtown developer Mickey Garcia will have to wait another month to find out if he will become the new owner of the historic Thomas Jefferson School.

The Suffolk City Council on Wednesday voted 6 to 1 to delay acting on Garcia’s proposal to buy the 16,260-square-foot schoolhouse and .6 acres of surrounding property for $105,000 until the Aug. 17 meeting. Councilman Calvin Jones opposed tabling the matter.

The move was tabled after council members Linda T. Johnson and Curtis Milteer indicated they would not support the project on Wednesday. Under the state constitution, the sale of surplus public requires the support of six of the council’s seven members.

Email newsletter signup

Garcia, one of three developers who submitted proposal to buy the 1912 school last spring, is planning to invest more than $2.4 million into converting the facility into 10 upscale condominiums.

The sale of the property catapulted into the public spotlight last month after some council members questioned whether the city was selling the dilapidated building at too far below its assessed value.

&uot;This is not about Garcia Development,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;I’m not pleased with the RFP process.

&uot;…You can reject the RFP and put it out to bid again. Let’s open up the process.

City Attorney C. Edward Roettger said the city complied with procurement laws – even exceeded it is some cases – in advertising and accepting Requests for Proposals.