The Glendale Unified School District has approved a developer's bid to build more than 200 upscale rental units on the vacant 4.8-acre Field Elementary School site.
The Howard/Platz Group, a local partnership, agreed to pay $610,000 a year for the site in a 65-year lease with the school district, provided a rezoning measure is approved by city officials to accommodate the development.
The property, on Central Avenue north of Glenoaks Boulevard, is zoned for single-family housing but is designated for high-density development in the Glendale general plan.
Lease revenue from the site, considered the district's most important unused asset, will be used to reinstate sixth-period classes for seventh- and eighth-graders. Those classes were eliminated after voters passed the Proposition 13 tax-cutting measure in 1978.
Two previous attempts to lease the property for development failed.
No qualified developers bid on the site when it was first offered in 1982. Last year, a developer who had won district approval to lease the site for construction of a 240-unit apartment building backed out of the deal after the Glendale City Council refused to issue tax-exempt bonds for the project and rejected a request to build efficiency apartments that were 200 square feet smaller than the city's minimum, senior city planner Kathy Marcus said.
Hoping to prevent similar problems, Greg Galletly, a partner in the Howard/Platz real estate management and development company, said: "We've suggested a study session with the city early on . . . so up front they'll know about the project."
The council scheduled a public study session for 4 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall.
The deal with the district gives the developers six months to get city approval.
Galletly said the firm plans to build about 250 one- and two-bedroom units, with rents expected to begin at $700 a month. He estimated the value of the proposed two- and three-story town house development at $15 million to $17 million.
Can Adjust Annual Rent
Howard/Platz submitted a written bid of $451,000 a year at a board meeting two weeks ago before oral bidding with competing developers, which ended in the successful $610,000 offer by Howard/Platz.
Central Development Co., whose final offer was $606,000, was selected by the school board to develop the school site should the Howard/Platz proposal fail.
The district had set a minimum lease price of $395,000 a year.
The lease arrangement allows the district to adjust the annual rent on the surplus school property after 10 years, based on net changes in consumer price indexes.
The Field school was closed in 1981 because of declining enrollment.