Sale of Schultz School complete; building will become senior apartments

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Developer Chad Hartle is now the owner of the Schultz School building, according to real estate broker Thomas M. Meyer.

The Cape Girardeau School District transferred the title Monday afternoon to Hartle's Schultz Senior Apartments LP. Meyer, who represented the school district, announced the deal Tuesday. The sale was estimated at $1.7 million, including agent and closing fees.

"This has been a team effort, with success coming from all parties involved," Meyer said of the cooperation between the school district, Hartle and city leaders.

Hartle plans to transform the building at 101 S. Pacific St. in Cape Girardeau into apartments for low-income seniors. Plans are to create 21 one-bedroom apartments, with rent ranging from $285 to $380 per month and 24 two-bedroom units, which will rent for $365 to $485 per month.

The initial contract for the sale was originally entered into in March 2007. Meyer said similar deals take one to three years to complete because of the logistics involved.

Marla Mills, executive director of Old Town Cape, said housing is an important ingredient for downtown revitalization.

"I'm excited about what this project will do for this area," Mills said. "We hope this will add to the trend of people who are choosing to make downtown their home."

Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson said the project fills a void of senior housing in the city.

"This project will go a long way to expanding our services to seniors," Knudtson said. "What better way to renovate an old school building than to turn it into a state-of-the-art senior facility that will give a face lift to the whole neighborhood? Anytime you have projects such as these that benefit many parties, it's a win-win situation."

The building, which was the first public high school in the city, was most recently used as the district's alternative education program. In February 2007, the school board agreed to sell the property to Hartle for $1.7 million.

In October, the district learned the money must be put into a permanent trust, meaning the district can only spend money earned from the interest.

In December, Hartle was awarded $600,000 in state and federal tax credits annually for 10 years to help finance the renovation of the school building.

The project received an additional boost in July when it was awarded a $250,000 grant tied to Cape Girardeau's participation in the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri, or DREAM, Initiative. Gov. Matt Blunt named the community as one of the first DREAM cities in 2006.

Mills said such projects as the Schultz School will give the city leverage when applying for future grants.

"If we are against another city for the same grant money, chances are we will have a good chance of receiving the funds since we are a DREAM city and have that track record of success," Mills said.

bblackwell@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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Map of Schultz School location

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