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Helen Baker hot topic at School Board workshop

The Glencoe-Silver Lake (GSL) School Board held its work session on the Helen Baker Elementary property Monday night to discuss the building proposal for the site, the city of Glencoe’s purchase agreement for the Helen Baker site and what it means for the land to qualify as a redevelopment tax increment financing (TIF) district.
At the workshop, Glencoe Assistant City Administrator Dan Ehrke was present to answer any questions the board might have about the 98-unit apartment complex proposal and Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates was also present to answer any questions the board might have about the TIF district.
No action about the proposal for the Helen Baker site or the city of Glencoe’s purchase agreement was taken at the workshop.
Board Member Clark Christianson clarified for the public that no decision has been made yet about the Helen Baker site and that the school board went through the necessary procedures two years ago on Sept. 14, 2015, to close the building since the school district no longer had a use for it. It has been on the market for two years.
Ehrke presented the building proposal for the School Board.
As a brief overview, the redeveloper (Glencoe Multi Family, LLC) is proposing to build a 98-unit apartment complex on the Helen Baker site. It is proposing to demolish the existing building, redevelop the land and build the apartment complex (complete with garages as well as some single family homes) in two phases. The total project cost comes to $10 million.
The redeveloper is requesting the city help with land acquisition (in the proposed purchase agreement from the city, the school district would sell the land to the city for a dollar and the city would sell it to Glencoe Multi Family, LLC, for a dollar), redevelopment (asbestos abatement and demolition) along with constructing a regional storm water pond.
The redevelopment cost comes to an estimated total of $760,000. To cover this cost, the city is requesting that the school district provide $300,000 cash — the city will bond for the remaining $460,000.
For more from the workshop, see the Sept. 27 print edition of The Chronicle.