COLUMBIA — Undeveloped land by Battle High School will soon be bought by the city and ultimately turned into a park.
The Columbia City Council voted unanimously to sign a contract to purchase a 30.18-acre tract from St. Charles Road Development LLC.
The selling price is $681,280, which comes out to $21,000 per acre plus $47,500 to cover half the cost of extending a sewer line to the property. Before the deal is officially closed in July, the development group must also extend Battle Avenue north in addition to building the sewer line.
The purchase price comes from an independent third-party appraiser. The amount falls between an appraisal of $14,600 per acre that was done for the city and a price of $29,670 per acre suggested by an appraiser for the owner, according to a previous Missourian report.
Development of the park doesn't have a definitive timetable and is now up to the Parks and Recreation Department.
The purchase is the third one by a public body in northeast Columbia from the St. Charles group.
- The 80 acres for Muriel Battle High School was purchased in 2007 for $900,000, or around $11,250 per acre.
- Thirty-two acres was purchased for $1.5 million in September for an elementary school, which included a $500,000 donation from St. Charles Group.
- The total acreage purchased comes to 142 for a total of $3,081,280, or an average of about $21,700 per acre.
Although the price of the high school land was seen as a deal, some have expressed concerns that the price for the parkland is too expensive.
When asked if the parkland price was to make up for the cheaper price of the high school land, Robert Wolverton, who works with St. Charles Group, disagreed.
"There are many facts left out," he said of those claims. "This price is based on appraisals."
"It makes sense to put this park next to the school," Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said.