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Peabody School Sold for $3.5M to Real Estate Firm

By Alisa Hauser | October 23, 2014 9:44am
 The former Peabody School at 1444 W. Augusta Blvd. in West Town.
The former Peabody School at 1444 W. Augusta Blvd. in West Town.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WEST TOWN — A shuttered West Town school, one of about 50 closed last year, will be sold to a Buffalo Grove-based real estate firm for $3.5 million, officials say.

The sale of Peabody at 1444 W. Augusta Blvd. to Svigos Asset Management marks the first sale of a school that was part of the shutdown by Chicago Public Schools. At least part of it will reportedly be used for housing.

Svigos Asset Management, located in suburban Buffalo Grove, specializes in developing and managing commercial and residential properties, and owns apartment buildings in Lakeview, Logan Square and Albany Park, according to its website. 

CPS in March launched a Web page dedicated to school "repurposing" and stated it would award buildings to the highest bidder.

CPS opened bids on Peabody school and a neighboring annex at 1434 W. Augusta Blvd. in August, after community meetings led by the local alderman on potential reuses for the school.

In order to qualify, bidders had to present proposals that would include community programming into their proposed plans, CPS said in a news release. Peabody was sold to the highest qualifying bidder, CPS said.

About three blocks east of Ashland Avenue, the campus sits on 1.3 aces spanning close to 54,000 square-feet.

Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) had previously called the neighborhood around Peabody as "prime area."

Burnett held a community meeting in May to get input about the future of the school.  From his perspective, "most of those that live in the community are very supportive of Northwestern Settlement house" — a community organization that wanted to expand its early childhood and parent education programs at the former school.

Ron Manderschied, executive director of Northwestern Settlement House, said Thursday that while he was "disappointed" that his group's bid of $1 million was not the top bid, he was working with Svigos Asset Management's owner, Paul Svigos, to bring an element of community service to the property.

Manderschied said Northwestern Settlement House would be working with Svigos to incorporate some of Northwestern Settlement House services on the site of the former school. He said Peabody would be converted into housing.

Svigos was not immediately available for comment.

Also on Wednesday, CPS announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its current headquarters building at 125 S. Clark St. for $28 million to Blue Star Properties.

CPS will be moving its headquarters to 42 N. Dearborn in November as part of an effort to reduce district spending and to redirect funds to the classroom.

With the sale of 125 S. Clark, CPS now expects to save more than $60 million over the next 15 years as a result of the Central Office relocation.