Commercial realtor Danny Zimmern told the school board that current real estate market obviously isn’t very good. He admitted that there have been zero sales in the past year that match up to a property the size of Brownsville Middle School.
“We do have a lot of people interested,” Zimmern said. “Out of respect to Rev. May, they waiting to see what the church does.”
Thomas told the board that other churches, community groups and homebuilders have expressed interest in the property. “I gave my commitment to Mr. May,” said Thomas to the board. “I thought we had an agreement. I’m as guilty as anyone of rebuffing people interested in the property.”
This is a very different tune from what Superintendent Thomas said after the $1 million proposal fell through earlier in the year.
When we interviewed Thomas last February, he said that he had buyers who wanted to stay anonymous:
Thomas says he has had several groups recently come forward with interest in the Brownsville Middle property, but will not reveal the names.
“Buyers have asked to not be named,” he says. “I do not want to ruin my sale. We would have done the same with LuTimothy’s group. We actually had a couple people approach us in the six months dealing with Friendship, but we did not talk to them.
“We’re going to be very careful with what we put in there,” he adds. “I’d rather tear the building down then put something in there that does not fit well (next to Oakcrest Elementary).
Thomas clearly gave the impression that a sale was imminent. Of course, it never happened.
In June Friendship Missionary Baptist decided to make another offer or at least float one to Thomas.
That was about the same time we started asking about the mystery buyers that Thomas had talked about in February. We actually
made a public records request for any offers on the property. The only offer they supplied us was the draft from Friendship Missionary Baptist. They also supplied us with the emails rejecting the draft.