The old Junior High School could get a new owner. The Wellington school board accepted an offer from Gary Hassenilu, a developer from Kansas City, to purchase and develop the building into rental units.
It isn’t a done deal though. Hassenilu is waiting to hear if he will get a tax credit he needs in order to complete the project. The board approved a similar deal with him last year, but he did not get the tax credit, so he is trying again.
The offer is for $150,000 and the board accepted it on a 5-2 vote. The developer will find out next May if he will get the tax credit he needs, so it would be a year or so before it becomes finalized.
Some board members did not like the idea of tying up the property that long. However it was pointed out that there have been no other offers.
Hassenilu said he is much more confident this time that his company will get the tax credit, because he lowered the proposed cost of the rental units and he has a letter from the local housing authority supporting the project.
The plan is to turn the building into 42 units of one, two and three-bedroom units with rent ranging from $380 to $650.
He said there would have to be a lot of asbestos removal. The project would be handicapped accessible, and there would be new windows and a lot of work done on the exterior.
“It will look like it did when it was built,” he said.
The project would cost around $8 million.
Maintaining the historical integrity of the building is essential to the project, he added.