Special Reports

District wants apartments to expand school

The Tacoma School District is close to buying a 50-unit apartment building in Tacoma's North End so it can expand Stadium High School.

School board members unanimously approved a resolution Thursday night to purchase the Broadview Apartments for $3,571,000.

The building at 506 Second St. sits next to Stadium's technology annex and across from the Stadium Bowl and the school's main building.

Broadview owner John Peranzi estimated the size of the 52-year-old apartment building, which has six stories and a basement, at about 50,000 square feet.

The district plans to raze the Broadview and build a performing arts and gymnasium complex at the site, Superintendent Jim Shoemake said.

The construction would be part of the historic school's $85 million modernization. Architects and district staff members are working on a design, but construction isn't scheduled to begin until 2004.

One of the design challenges is the small size of the 9.8-acre Stadium campus, which lies wedged between other buildings.

The Broadview property "would open up a lot more opportunities for the site," said Jeff Ryan, one of the project architects with Merritt+Pardini.

Preliminary plans call for demolishing the annex and the Broadview. In their place would rise a complex housing a theater, performing arts classrooms, a main gym, auxiliary gym and locker rooms, Ryan said. The school's current underground gym might become a commons and dining hall.

"At this time, we would not be pursuing other properties," for the Stadium modernization, Shoemake said.

The agreement approved by the district calls for all apartment tenants to be gone for the deal to close.

The agreement, which has yet to be signed by the Broadview owners, allows the owners 90 to 120 days to vacate the building. Peranzi estimated that period would begin around Aug. 1, when both parties are expected to have signed the agreement.

Peranzi said he will make it a priority to ensure the apartment's 45 to 50 tenants find another place to live.

His business will help tenants relocate, if they wish, to one of the six other apartment buildings it owns in Tacoma's North End and to transfer their security deposits from the Broadview.

Aware of the possible sale, the firm stopped accepting new tenants in the Broadview several months ago, he said, noting about 10 units are vacant.

Peranzi said he's particularly concerned about the apartment's four or five elderly renters. He plans to arrange for his firm to move the elders' belongings, if they want.

"I don't want to create an air of panic in anyone's mind," he said. "As a long-term property investor, tenants are very important to us."

Broadview tenant Warren Stolaroff, 79, didn't know of the impending sale until a reporter told him Thursday.

"I've enjoyed living here for close to two years. It's a very central location, close to downtown," Stolaroff said. "I would be disappointed if I had to move, but progress is progress."

Peranzi said he plans to notify residents once the agreement is signed.

A professional appraiser chosen by the district and owners valued the Broadview at $3,250,000, Shoemake and Peranzi said. Peranzi sought $4 million, and the two parties agreed to $3,571,000.

Funds for the purchase will come from the $450 million bond that Tacoma district voters approved last year for capital improvements.

The School Board resolution notes that without a sales agreement, the district could acquire the property through eminent domain.

The purchase agreement lists the owners as John and Lucia Peranzi; Robert Beale and Cesarina A. Beale, as trustees of the Beale Family Trust; and TJ Company, which is John Peranzi's partnership.

Debby Abe: 253-597-8694