District brass picks Pathfinder

After reviewing bids for the former Aberdeen Elementary School on U.S. 1, district staff has recommended which offer should be accepted. Staff members presented their findings to the Moore County Board of Education at its Monday, August 3 work session.

The meeting took place in the auditorium of the new Aberdeen Elementary off N.C. 5.

According to district officials, the offer from Pathfinder Investment Management (PIM) LLC, a real estate private equity firm from Raleigh, to buy the property – for $1.5 million – best serves the school system. Under payment plans, PIM would pay the required 5 percent of the bid ($75,000), which would start an upset bid process.

If PIM’s offer prevails after the process, it would pay another $40,000 for a 60-day inspection period, at the end of which the entire deposit of $115,000 is not refundable. PIM would pay the balance ($1,385,000) due on the property should the Aberdeen Town Council approve a version of the current development plan.

Once PIM’s offer gets a green light from the school board – and the upset bid period has closed – district staff would present the highest offer to board members for consideration.

The school board will make a decision on PIM’s purchase proposal at next week’s meeting.

Officials, after careful consideration, also recommended that a decision on offers for Southern Pines Elementary School (SPES) and Southern Pines Primary (SPP) be deferred until the school board’s December work session. One of the bidders, the Southern Pines Land & Housing Trust (the Trust), formally stated in July it won’t pay the appraised value ($630,000) for SPP.

The Trust, subsequently, offered $200,000, to be paid in cash, for the purchase.

Moore Montessori Community School is willing to pay $1,080,000 for the SPES site.

Superintendent Robert P. Grimesey, Jr., Ed.D based the request for delay, in part, on the fact staff members are presently spending countless hours on public health and safety issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and the reopening of schools.

Board members voiced support for Grimesey’s request for delay.  

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Dave Lukow.

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