"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Does Glasser (Imagine) Play by the Rules?

Sam Glasser, the St. Louis real estate developer with a history making deals with Imagine Schools, is awfully up front about his desire for a piece of Pittsburgh property, Burgwin Elementary School. It's not garnering any respect from the district, and it's probably a pretty darn good indication that Mr. Glasser knows a good deal when he sees one. A 150k investment and the estimated $406k in repairs and upgrades could easily be recouped if, say, Glasser secured a lucrative deal with the potential Imagine charter school (or simply sold the school to SchoolHouse Finance, Imagine's real estate arm; it might eventually end up in the hands of Entertainment Properties Trust). Glasser supposedly offered $350k last September for the very same piece of property. Seems to me that $150k would be a steal - that's 42% of his initial offer.

$150,000 bid for former Burgwin Elementary School won't be considered

By Daveen Rae Kurutz

Thursday, March 25, 2010

City school officials will not consider a $150,000 offer on a closed Hazelwood elementary school.

St. Louis real estate developer Sam Glasser sent a letter and check to the district in an attempt to purchase the former Burgwin Elementary building.

The board had been set to vote Wednesday on selling the building to a Hazelwood nonprofit, but administrators pulled the item from the agenda because of concerns about the nonprofit's financial stability. Solicitor Ira Weiss said the board legally could not approve the offer yesterday.

Chief Financial Officer Chris Berdnik acknowledged receiving a check for $15,000 along with a letter of intent from Glasser. However, Weiss said Glasser did not follow proper procedures to submit a bid.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt called the check "utterly irrelevant. There was no cause for it. It was not hand money."

Glasser hopes to lease the building to a proposed community service charter school if he can purchase it. [Ken's note: yeah, that'd be Imagine]

"These people think they don't have to play by the rules," said board member Jean Fink.

Daveen Rae Kurutz can be reached at dkurutz@tribweb.com

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