Mercyhurst North East value highlighted as new set of valuations
The three-member county committee unanimously decides on the new valued value after reviewing the valuation, other information. Sale scheduled for December to the same group that owns the SPIRE sports complex in Ohio.
Mercyhurst President Kathleen Getz talks about attending her first Hurst Day
Mercyhurst President Kathleen Getz talks about attending her first Hurst Day on September 13, 2021. Classes are canceled for the annual School Pride Day.
Christopher Millette, Erie Times-News
- Before the sale of the campus in the North East, Mercyhurst University requested a reduction in the assessed value of $ 24.8 million
- Appraisal commission has significantly reduced this amount
- The new value of $ 6.6 million will help fix property taxes, which will result in the loss of the tax exemption under the new owner
Mercyhurst University’s northeast campus selling price is $ 4.5 million.
For tax purposes, however, the 70-acre property has been valued at $ 6,630,030.
The Erie County Tax Assessment Appeals Board placed this assessed value on campus in response to Mercyhurst’s request to reduce the assessed value by $ 24,777,600.
The three-member board of directors made its decision unanimously on Wednesday, and county valuation officials posted notices regarding the new assessed value later in the week, said Scott Maas, chief valuator. County of Erie and director of the county assessment office.
Maas, who also assists the appraisal committee, said the committee based its decision on an appraisal of the property in 2019, which valued it at just over $ 9 million. He also said the board has looked at how the property could be used.
The property, made up of a total of seven plots, includes land straddling the borough and the township of Nord-Est; historic buildings, including a chapel, which once served as a seminary; a natatorium; and the buildings that Mercyhurst constructed during his ownership, which dates back to 1991.
âIt has very limited uses,â Maas said.
Mercyhurst wanted the estimated value to be closer to the sale price of $ 4.5 million. The university agreed to sell the campus, however, to a Maryland company specializing in athletic training programs. The sale is effective December 15, according to a purchase agreement that Mercyhurst attached to its appraisal call, filed in July.
Mercyhurst or the tax authorities could appeal the new assessed value to the Erie County Court of Common Pleas. But whatever the final value, the new number will benefit the Northeast Borough, the Northeast Township, the Northeast School District, and the Erie County government.
The property is now tax exempt as Mercyhurst, an educational institution, owns it. The property was also exempt from tax under the previous owner in Mercyhurst, the Redemptorist Fathers of Pennsylvania, who ran a seminary there.
But the property is expected to become taxable as a result of the ongoing sale, and the new assessed value will help determine tax revenue for municipalities and the school district. The property taxes of a parcel are determined by applying the tax authority’s mileage rate to the assessed value of the property. The estimated value and the market value, reflected in a sale price, may differ.
The total property tax bill at the current value of $ 24,777,600 would be $ 533,696, according to estimates based on mileage rates. If the valuation had been reduced to $ 4.5 million, the total tax bill would have been $ 101,403.
Walk past the board: Mercyhurst North East sale price set at $ 4.5 million, a fraction of current value of $ 24.8 million
The new assessed value of $ 6,630,030 results in a total tax bill of approximately $ 143,000, to be distributed among the tax authorities.
Mercyhurst filed the pre-sale appeal to Buyer, a subsidiary of Baltimore-based Blue Ocean. The new assessed value of $ 6.6 million is a reduction of about 73% from the previous value of $ 24.8 million – a value that had not been scrutinized in because of Mercyhurst’s tax exemption.
Campus for sale
Mercyhurst put the North East campus on the market for $ 22.4 million in 2019, after the university announced in August of the same year that it was closing the campus and moving the programs to its main campus to Erie. In May 2020, Mercyhurst elected to increase its consolidation by one year.
In preparation for the sale, Assessment Evaluation Inc. of Erie valued the property for just over $ 9 million in 2019, agency chief Robert Glowacki said. He said the appraisal was for Mercyhurst.
The new assessed value of $ 6.6 million, instead of $ 24.8 million, reduces taxes payable for the eventual owner, Blue Ocean. He plans to turn the campus into a branch of the SPIRE Institute in Ashtabula County, Ohio. SPIRE, which stands for Sport, Philanthropy, Innovation, Rehabilitation and Education, includes a college preparatory academy for high school student-athletes, as well as a postgraduate academy.
Blue Ocean, under the Axxella subsidiary, purchased the land and buildings of the SPIRE Institute for $ 7.35 million in December 2019. The Blue Ocean subsidiary that purchases Mercyhurst North East is called North East Campus LLC, according to the contract. purchase.
Buyer pending: Mercyhurst North East suitor Blue Ocean Investments owns the SPIRE Institute in Ohio
In the northeast, Blue Ocean also plans to offer a cooking school and a performing arts study program, in addition to offering sports programming. He intends to renovate some of the older buildings on the property and add a “state-of-the-art theater, sound studio and recording studio,” according to the borough’s request. Northeast for a $ 6.5 million grant under the redevelopment assistance program that was filed with the state earlier this year.
The borough applied for the grant to help Blue Ocean renovate an existing sports complex and natatorium and build a 70,000 square foot multisport complex. The renovation is estimated at more than $ 3.3 million, while the construction of the new sports complex is said to exceed $ 9.6 million. The sports complex would include a fitness center that would be accessible to the Northeast community.
Large projects: A sports complex for the North-East? Grant could help bring $ 13 million project to life
A project schedule in the application indicates that the project would begin in December, when the sale is expected to close. Bids for the renovation and new construction would be published in February and awarded in March. Construction would begin in June and end in December 2023. SPIRE North East would launch its programming in September 2022.
The property for sale includes the 36,000 square foot Michele and Tom Ridge Health and Safety Building. It cost around $ 8 million to build and is named after Tom Ridge of Erie, former Governor of Pennsylvania and former Secretary of Homeland Security, and his wife, Michele.
Northeast Township Supervisor Robert Mazza cited the cost of the Ridge Building when he said in an interview in September that he believed Mercyhurst North East was worth more than $ 4.5 million.
But he also said: “I think a property is only worth what someone wants to pay for it, and that is naturally what the estimated value should become.”
Editor-in-chief Matthew Rink contributed to this report.