Local News

Price of Wake School Site Doubles in Year

Posted February 9, 2007

— The Wake County school system is prepared to pay $8.7 million for a school site in Apex that sold for less than half that amount 10 months ago.

The 108-acre tract south of Hume Olive Road, near the intersection of Evans Road, was sold to a group of investors last April for $4.1 million, or about $38,000 per acre. The school district agreed Tuesday to pay more than $80,000 an acre for the site for a future school, and the price tag concerns some county officials.

"Certainly there's a large difference there. Whether that's justifiable for us to go purchase that land for a school is something county commissioners will take a look at," said Tony Gurley, chairman of the county Board of Commissioners.

The investor group, called Apex Olive LLC, has ties to SAS, a Cary software company owned by Jim Goodnight. Goodnight and his wife were prominent supporters of the $970 million school construction bond that passed in November.

Developer Glenn Futrell, part of the Apex Olive LLC ownership group, said he and his fellow investors aren't taking advantage of the school district. Real estate prices in western Wake County appreciate rapidly, he said, adding that the group also did engineering work on the site for a subdivision.

"We were perfectly happy developing the land. The schools contacted us. We're not supposed to be stupid. We're not in the charity business. The problem is, the public doesn't understand," Futrell said.

Gurley conceded that finding land to build schools can get complicated.

"It's very difficult to find sites of an appropriate size. They have to be in the right location," he said.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Burris said Coldwell Banker reviewed 80 different parcels before recommending the Apex site for a new high school and middle school. While the cost of the property jumped sharply in recent months, he said the land is still less per acre than other parcels bought by Wake taxpayers.

County commissioners will make sure they understand the real estate market before the deal for the Apex land is approved, Gurley said.

"By spending basically double what was available 10 months ago, that just leaves less money for future purchases, and I know we need to make future purchases," he said.

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  • chargernut69 Feb 20, 2007

    Sorry, but Apex Olive LLC knew along time ago that it was the intent to use this land for a school.... do they really think people are that niave?....do they need to make profit at the expense of our children?. The builders ought to be the ones that pay for these schools by paying impact fees. They are making money hand over fist & the tax payers are getting screwed!

  • jsj501 Feb 12, 2007

    I think the state has double (and even triple) standards when it comes to buying land. I have relatives who were offered far less than the appraised value for their property to make room for I-440. They took the state to court, won the case, but of course had to pay the lawyers, so the net gain wasn't much.
    It just is all about "who you know", which isn't the way a fair government is suppose to work.

  • E-Diva Feb 10, 2007

    Considering the developers could sell an acre lot if it was turned residential for close to 200k, I think the school system is getting it for a real bargain.

    And...FYI...Glen Futrell was part of the development team that gave Wake County the site for Highcroft Elementary. They basically gave that land away at 30k and acre. Wake County also turned the developers down when they offered to pay for building the school in exchange for guaranteeing 30% of the seats to Highcroft residents. 30 PERCENT!!??? The school board couldn't agree to that? They could have saved 5 million dollars.

  • Tax Man Feb 10, 2007

    Guess the question here is "what is the land worth"? Take the land by eminent domain and then let a Court decide the price - a jury trial of Wake County taxpayers should set things right. These investors are entitled to a profit on their investment, but not at a price greater than the real value of the land. What did the appraisal come out at? And, if there was any "insider" stuff going on here, they should be banned from profiting at all.

  • jsj501 Feb 10, 2007

    I think I would like my tax money back, please.

  • Iwasasoldier4u Feb 10, 2007

    It sounds to me like they should do a little insider information investigation. The only problem there would be is that there isn't any working people to charge with a crime if they find one. God knows that none of the tie wearing good ole boys in the Forbes area of wake county would ever be charged. You are right Mr Futrell the public doesn't understand but what they do understand perfectly well is the term rape which you and your elite team are trying to do to the hardworking class of people in wake county. Job well done sir but just remember no matter how many people you screw over to get your money you can't take it with you when judgement day comes.

  • r-n-r Feb 10, 2007

    This deal is as crooked as easley. Is easley's hand in there somewhere?

  • BRUCEY BABY Feb 9, 2007


  • nerdlywehunt Feb 9, 2007

    Great, since the Goodnights are so behind quality education they should donate the land to Wake County. Never happen! We have been screwed and tatooed

  • builder276 Feb 9, 2007

    let's see here. we approve a bond of 970 million dollars, then the land doubles in price and the school district agrees to pay that much for it. Who on the school board is getting their pocket lined by this sale, could they at least offer us some vaseline first