Birmingham Schools Administration Building Back on the Market

The district has been trying to sell its nonschool facilities, including the administration building on West Merrill Street, since 2009.

The Birmingham Public School district's at 550 W. Merrill St. is back on the market, after an offer to purchase the building recently fell through.

At the Birmingham Board of Education's meeting Tuesday night, Debbie Piesz, assistant superintendent for business services, said for months, the district had been in negotiations with a group of local attorneys who wanted to move their offices to Birmingham from Troy.

Piesz said the attorneys planned to occupy 75 percent of the building, which sits near the near Southfield Road, and had a partner lined up to sublet the remaining 25 percent of the building.

However, Piez said due to "unforseen circumstances," the law firm had to withdraw their bid, putting the building back on the market.

The district has been trying to sell its nonschool buildings for several years now in an effort to reduce the district's physical footprint and generate revenue, Superintendent David Larson said.

The district owns four nonschool facilities: the administration building, the , the Meadow Lake school — a former elementary school on Inkster Road currently being leased to the French School of Detroit — and the district's busing facilities on Cole Street.

Efforts to sell the administration building, however, have been under way for several years now. Board President Susan Hill noted at the board's Dec. 13 meeting that the building has been under contract in the past, but those deals fell through. In September 2009, the district received offers of $2.5 million and $1.8 million for the building.

Piez said the district will continue soliciting bids on the building.


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