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After 7 years, St. Joseph High School nears sale of 10-acre property

Published: Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 9:56 a.m. CDT

WESTCHESTER – For seven years, St. Joseph High School has been trying to sell the 10.5 acres of land that its old building used to occupy.

The school nearly reached contracts several times, but they all fell through because developers couldn’t find the money, said David McCreery, president of the high school.

Now, with the real estate market on the mend, the school is considering proposals from developers and expects to finally sell the property in coming weeks.

“The difference in the level of interest today in this real estate market compared to before is night and day,” McCreery said. “It's been extremely gratifying to get the responses we're getting.”

Preliminary plans submitted to the village by several of the developers included senior housing elements, though it's unknown whether all developments under consideration by the school are for senior housing.

The property is on the north end of the school’s property, south of District 92.5’s Intermediate School on Canterbury Street and west of Oxford Street. The school has been trying to sell the 10.5-acre plot since 2005, when Immaculate Heart of Mary closed and female students started attending St. Joseph, which bought Immaculate’s building and decided to sell a third of its own property to pay for it.

As months and then years passed without a buyer, the school had to find a way to make payments for the debt it took on by purchasing the Immaculate building.

"We're a break-even nonprofit to begin with, and now we have to come up with payments to the bank,” McCreery said.

He added that the school has not missed a payment and that all developers have met the school's asking price.

Selling the property will help the school focus on raising money for scholarships, McCreery said.

“Because, in today’s economy, most families wanting students to attend [St. Joseph] need help,” he said.

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