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Vallejo school board to sell unused little league fields to home builder for $8M

  •   3 min reads
Vallejo school board to sell unused little league fields to home builder for $8M
Former Little League fields on Rollingwood Drive. Photo via Google Maps.

VALLEJO – During a public auction last month, the Vallejo school board agreed to sell four unused little league fields to a residential developer for $8.2 million.

The little league fields are one of two properties the school board sought to sell after opening bidding during its Feb. 16 meeting.

The highest bid came from KB Home North Bay, LLC, which offered nearly $4 million more than the district’s asking price of $4.8 million for the 17.71 acres of land located along Rollingwood Drive and Benicia Road. The fields were once home for East Vallejo Little League baseball.

This isn’t the first time the developer has purchased the site. KB agreed to buy the property for $17.5 million in 2006, after it was put onto the market to help the district find extra revenue following a $60 million bailout from the state.

Citing several issues at the time - including the economic downturn, the city’s entrance into bankruptcy, and a slowdown in home building - the developer stopped making its annual $3 million payment to the district in 2008. KB had submitted plans to build a 214-unit subdivision in the area.  

In all, the district received six bids for the surplus property including offers of $3 million and $5.25 million from Aventis Partners, LLC, and $5 million from Waymark Development, LLC, both real estate investment firms. Homebuilder Towne Development of Sacramento offered $5.5 million, good for second place after fellow developers, True Life Companies and Richmond American Homes, submitted an unqualified bid of $5.5 million.

The district also agreed to sell the former Farragut school near Sacramento Street to Seneca Family of Agencies for $2.93 million, about $30,000 more than the district’s asking price. Seneca provides behavioral health, education, placement, and permanency services for children and families.

Leticia Galyean, Seneca’s CEO, said the nonprofit was “really excited” to purchase the property. Galyean said the organization is seeking to open a school on the site to better serve Vallejo City Unified School District students who utilize Seneca’s services.

Seneca’s nearest location is in Fairfield, which Galyean said “can be a long commute” for families living in Vallejo. She further said the Farragut site will offer several resources including behavioral health, foster care and adoption services.

Faced with declining enrollment and the need to slash its annual budget for the foreseeable future, the school board two years ago began the process of identifying surplus district properties that could be sold to bolster its finances.

A bulk of the district’s funding comes from the state, based on the number of enrolled students.

The district began the process of declaring the little league fields a surplus site in August 2019 when the board authorized district staff to solicit an appraisal of the site.

A special Vallejo school district committee that was formed to evaluate all district-owned properties concluded that December that several of the properties could be declared surplus and either leased or sold.

The board reconfirmed those findings last August and determined that the little league fields  and former Farragut school site could be sold. At the same meeting, the board reconfirmed that the former Grant school site in South Vallejo, and the Crest Center in North Vallejo should also be declared surplus properties and sold.

Board President Tony Gross marveled at the number of properties being sold by the district.

“I’ve been in this district for 30 years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen real estate sold by this district,” said Gross before the bids were opened.

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