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Orange County Digest

Buena Park : Old School Site May Become Homes, Shops

March 16, 1986|Roxana Kopetman

The old Sullivan Elementary School, closed as a school but home to theater productions and other cultural events, may have a bulldozer waiting in the wings.

City Council members on Monday night will hold public hearings on proposals to raze the closed school and replace the structure with 71 homes and a commercial development.

The city is buying the 8.5-acre Sullivan site from the Buena Park School District for $3 million. In turn, the city plans to sell the property for $3.25 million to two developers: Ponderosa Homes of Southern California and Larmor Development Co.

Ponderosa plans to build the 71 homes--which will sell for between $99,000 and $125,000--while Larmor plans a small commercial center with mostly shops and possibly one or two restaurants, said Felise Acosta, community development manager.

Originally, the city was planning to turn a part of the Sullivan school into a cultural arts center and utilize the remainder as a commercial and residential area. But because of lack of space and the cost of the land, among other reasons, the city decided against rehabilitating the school for cultural arts, Acosta said.

Of approximately 50 developers contacted, five submitted development proposals for the property on Melrose Avenue and Beach Boulevard. Ponderosa was the only developer that submitted a plan for a single-family project, according to a report to the council.

If city officials give approval to the developers and escrow on the sales close by the expected dates, construction on the site could begin this summer, Acosta said.

Meanwhile, officials are still on the look-out for a permanent home to house Buena Park's community theater, choral groups and other cultural activities.

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