Public Hearing on Stackpole Sale Continued

One Southampton resident told the court the deal “just doesn’t smell good.”


A has been pushed back until October.

However, the hearings regarding the sale of the former Leary and Longstreth Elementary School properties proceeded as planned in courtroom no. 6 of the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown yesterday.

Attorney Mark Cappuccio, of Eastburn and Gray, P.C., presented the district’s petitions to sell both the former Leary and Longstreth properties to County Builders, Inc in front of Bucks County Judge C. Theodore Fritsch, Jr. and a handful of onlookers Thursday afternoon.  

It was only toward the end of the nearly two-hour hearing that the reason for the continuance in the Stackpole matter was revealed: a lawyer scheduled to appear on behalf of a resident of Upper Southampton had fallen ill.  

That resident  —Alvaro Costa, of Amile Lane — said he was sure some back-room deals were going on in the agreement reached between Centennial and County Builders, Inc.  

Costa owns Costa Homes, Inc., where he develops and constructs residential properties. He filed a formal petition with the court protesting the sale agreement Aug. 31.  

Costa testified that he submitted a bid to buy the former elementary school and surrounding 13.54 acres of property on Strathmann Drive on April 23, but by the time the school board met at 8 o’clock that same evening County Builders had outbid his offer by adding $55,000 to their original bid, upping the ante from $425,000 to $480,000.  

“Why didn’t [the school district] give me a chance to rebid?” Costa asked the court.  

Cappuccio, in what seemed to be a reference to the bid process and its associated deadlines, asked only one question of Costa: “Were you aware of the advertisements?”  

Costa said he was not disputing the advertisements but rather the way they were advertised.  

“School district officials did not do their homework,” he said. “They should have reached out to all of the builders in the area.”  

Costa said as a resident and a taxpayer in the district, the district was selling his property, as well as everyone else’s property, and as such they should be seeking the best possible return.  

Costa told the court, “[he’s] willing to buy these properties at any price. Today. Tomorrow. Anytime.”  

The hearing regarding the sale of the former Stackpole property to County Builders, Inc will be held  Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 10 a.m. in courtroom no. 6 of the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown.    

Jennifer Mohan September 07, 2012 at 11:37 AM
According to documents distributed by the school district at the April 10th meeting, County Builders also submitted their proposal to the district after the February 22 deadline. In the footnotes of the same document, the district notes how accepting the proposal would be equivalent to negating the bid process. You can view that document on the district's website here: http://www.centennialsd.org/cms/lib4/PA01001061/Centricity/Domain/3/leary%20longstreth%20and%20stackpole%20041012.pdf I've also uploaded it to the .pdf section of this article. As far as Mr. Costa being chastised, I did not witness that occur, therefore I did not report on it.
Matt September 07, 2012 at 11:40 AM
You are reading the wrong footnote, again misleading the public. That footnote, very clearly is next to Goldenberg.
Amy September 07, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Jennifer, the only footnote in the County Builder's row is number 8, which says see column labled all three.
Jennifer Mohan September 07, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Yes, you are correct about the footnote. My apologies. However, it is worth noting that as of April 10 the bid submitted by County Builders for the Stackpole property was $425,000.
Steve G September 07, 2012 at 05:10 PM
This seems to be a very low bid for the building and 13.54 additional acres of prime residential real estate. I personally have no faith leaving these major asset sales to our current School Board. I suggest that they have an appraisal done on the property and hire a commercial realtor to sell the properties. As a taxpayer I would rather wait 6 months and receive a higher price than fire sale the properties and surrounding land. It also appears very odd that one company would present the highest bid on all three properties.


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