Council to consider making offer to purchase Miracle Field site

Jan. 04, 2013 @ 04:07 PM

After months of negotiations, an agreement on a purchase price is on the table that would enable the city to acquire a piece of property on which to expand High Point’s Miracle Field.
The City Council on Monday will consider adopting a resolution authorizing city staff to enter into an agreement with Guilford County Schools for the purchase of 9.8 acres at School Park and Shadybrook roads for $300,000.
High Point leaders have long been interested in acquiring the land to add parking and new features for the Miracle League, which hosts games for handicapped and special-needs children on adjacent property. The school system is not currently using the site, which had been considered a possible location for a middle school.
The city has been negotiating with the school board since last April, when it offered to buy the site for $294,300, which is its 2012 assessed tax value. The board turned this offer down, and asked that that the city have the site appraised, which it did, at a cost of about $3,000 by Michael S. Clapp & Associates Inc., a Winston-Salem real estate appraiser.
Clapp appraised the site for $255,000, and the board’s counteroffer to this was was $335,000.
The proposed resolution states that the board “has expressed an interest” in selling the land for $300,000, and that the city “desires to purchase the Property for said amount.”
Approval of the resolution would start the process of acquiring the property. Subsequent steps would be formal acceptance of the city’s offer by the board and approval of the sale by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, according to Assistant City Manager Pat Pate.
The site can only be used for a middle school or for recreational purposes, under terms of a shared-use agreement the city has with the school board. Some of the previous disagreement over the value of the site stems from an appraisal the district had done in 2011, which put the land’s value at $400,000, based, in part, on multifamily residential development as the highest and best use available for part of the site.
However, such a use would be impossible under terms of the agreement. In addition, the city has made it clear it would never rezone the site to allow for residential use.