TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) –
The former Wrightstown Elementary School is once again up for possible development after Tucson Unified School District closed it four years ago.
Tuesday night the governing board unanimously approved the plan, which still hinges on the city changing the zoning for the area. Pepper Viner Investment will buy it for $1.3 million, with the plan to build no more than 55 single family homes on the 9.2 acre site. At least three quarters of the land will be single story residential development.
This is the third potential deal for Wrightstown. Neighbors opposed a previous plan that would have had denser, rental housing. In another previous deal, the developer determined that it wouldn’t be able to make enough profit.
The district has had as many as nine empty properties after it closed schools to save money, and those locations can attract trespassers and vandals. The district reported that juveniles were arrested inside the boarded up Fort Lowell Elementary School earlier Tuesday.
“We started to board them up and so, they’re less of a nuisance for the community, they’re more protected and that kind of reduces vandalism on them. But we do want to move them forward into a community benefit and a vacant building, boarded up, even if it’s securely boarded up isn’t a community benefit,” said Bryant Nodine, director of student assignment and planning for TUSD.
The deal still hinges on rezoning by the city, and the community is supposed to be a part of that process. Closing wouldn’t be for another nine months.