Grand Rapids board nixes sale of empty school to developer

March 2, 2012
District officials say buyer misled them about his plans for other vacant buildings

From The Grand Rapids Press: The Grand Rapids (Mich.) school board has terminated an agreement to sell a vacant elementary school for $535,000. The developer who was trying to buy Stocking Elementary, which closed in 2010, drew the ire of district officials when it was disclosed that he sold three other shuttered school facilities to a charter group after telling district officials he was going to convert them to apartments. A district spokesman says the sale of Stocking was canceled after Bruce Michael, owner of Ojibway Development, failed to meet a deadline for a $10,000 deposit. Michael has been under fire for apparently deceiving city leaders. He purchased Oakdale, Lexington and Eastern schools for $1.6 million on Feb. 10 and sold them the same day to National Heritage Academies, a for-profit management company that partners with with charter school boards.

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