Panada Express has bid more than $1.5 million for the old Hibbard Administration Center

TIGARD - The Tigard-Tualatin School District's capital assessments project is beginning to come full circle.

The first property that the School Board designated as surplus in the first round of assessments last year has garnered four bids, each higher than the appraised value of the land.

The old Hibbard Administration Center site on Highway 99W in Tigard is described as a 1.37 acre parcel of land currently zoned residential. The School Board agreed with staff rationale that the property was not large enough to support any of the program needs of the district.

Tuesday night the School Board authorized Superintendent Rob Saxton to negotiate a purchase and sales agreement with the highest bidder for the site. According to staff reports, Panda Express Inc. made the highest bid, for $1,566,930. According to Panda Express' letter of intent, the restaurant chain would like to develop a restaurant building on the site.

Real estate attorney David Bristol, however, cautioned that the company's letter of intent was not binding and advised the district to further negotiate the terms of the purchase. Since the property would have to be changed to a commercial zoning, Bristol also noted that the district transaction may take up to a year to complete.

The old Hibbard site is the first property designated as surplus to reach the bidding stage. In the spring of 2006, the board also agreed to place the old Tualatin Elementary School site up for sale. The old school site is expected to go up on the market in early- to mid-October. With developers chomping at the bit for the site, the 12.75-acre property is thought to be worth several million dollars.

In August, the School Board accepted an offer of $225,000 on a .4-acre piece of property near Metzger Elementary and authorized Saxton to complete the transaction.

The district is expected to use money from the sale of the surplus properties to help pay for the purchase of new school sites, including a $9.2 million 20-acre tract of land on Bull Mountain, and possibly to help cover capital improvement costs.

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