Fourth time might be a charm for sale of the West Chester Activity Center

Trustee Ann Becker said the old Activity Center — it was originally the township’s library — should be a good fit for a Montessori school given the wide open spaces, but the future use can’t be their only concern.

“Being a property owner of a government space is difficult because we have to balance what we want for the community, but at the same time get the best price for the taxpayer,” Becker said. “So it’s a balancing act between businesses that might want to buy it and prices that they’re willing to offer. It’s a tough spot.”

The Activity Center came into play after Community First Solutions stopped providing senior programming in 2019. Shortly thereafter the township agreed to sell the building to Kroger’s landlord Regency Centers but that turned out to be a two-year debacle.

Trustee Lee Wong also said he is “optimistically hopeful” this sale will go through, adding the Kroger deal was “delay after delay, just jerking us around, so we had enough of it.”

“I’m optimistic,” Wong said. “This is a good company, we checked, it’s a solid company.”

ExploreAnother West Chester Twp. Activity center deal fails

The agreement calls for $25,000 in earnest money and a 60-day due diligence period to do a detailed inspection of the property that is being sold as-is. An additional 60-day period is allowed while Quattro seeks permitting and possible other requirements, and a 30-day extension if requested. If Quattro fails to meet the deadline for notifying the township it plans to back out, they lose $10,000 of the earnest money.

Kroger’s landlord Regency Centers had a much more complicated purchase agreement. The Activity Center came into play after Community First Solutions stopped providing senior programming in 2019. Shortly thereafter the township agreed to sell the building to Kroger’s landlord Regency Centers for $1.8 million.

The deal was contingent on Regency Centers being able to acquire the Activity Center, the Providence Bible Fellowship church, a sliver from Chesterwood Village and easements and agreements with about 10 other property owners to complete the complicated deal.

The trustees gave Regency extensions of the timeline that was set in the purchase agreement to March 2020. The company had 90 days to acquire the church and Chesterwood properties and six months to complete due diligence. However three 90-day extensions could be requested at a cost of $50,000 each. The trustees agreed to amend the contract giving Regency another six months with $100,000 due September 2020. Regency canceled the deal just before the payment would have been due.

Likewise, Aziz offered to buy the property in April for $1.9 million but after the due diligence period he asked the trustees to shave $300,000 off the price because of some required upgrades like sprinklers.

At the time Welch told the Journal-News he believed they could have kept the $100,000 in earnest money because he was changing the purchase agreement which said the building was being sold as it stands. But he said they would likely spend more in legal fees if Aziz took them to court.

Aziz sued the township in 2016 over a temporary moratorium banning drug rehab centers. The lawsuit settled and Aziz eventually opened his rehab center on US 42.

The last deal fizzled two weeks ago. The trustees were set to approve an agreement with a local family to create an event center but the offer was respinded because financing failed for the $2.3 million offer.

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