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May 13, 2014 2:49 PM by Sean Mooney

TUSD trying to sell Wrightstown Elementary again

TUCSON - In the last five years, TUSD has closed 19 schools. TUSD has tried to sell some of the properties but no deals have ever made.

The district is now trying to sell Wrightstown Elementary for the second time. In December, it was reported that Mahalo Development, LLC, had purchased the 9.2 acre site to build 80 single-family units for $1.6 million but pulled out of the deal at the last minute.

Residents objected to the number of proposed units and had issues with them being rentals. Eighteen months later, neighbor Priscilla Bouman says she is again concerned about what a builder has planned.

"To have a whole bunch of the area destroyed out there worries me a little bit", Bouman said."I'm not completely opposed to it but I would hope that they would look for feedback from the community."

This time around it's Pepper Viner LLC that intends to buy the property. TUSD confirmed the builder's offer of $1.3 million to purchase Wrightstown.

"If the board approves the sale, the buyer will work with the city of Tucson and neighbors to obtain approval for development of single family homes, with the goal of closing the sale in about nine months."

TUSD Planning Services Program Manager Bryant Nodine says he's confident the sale will go through but Pepper Viner still has to sell the plan to the neighborhood and residents like Moria Aichen.

"Why houses, we're cramming them in", Aichen said. "Here's what I feel, it's all about money."

The TUSD Governing Board is scheduled to study the proposal at Tuesday's board meeting. Callsto Pepper Viner, LLC were not returned.

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