by Max Brantley
A followup to a note last night on an Easter Seals plan to sell its former facility at the eastern end of Lee Avenue for business offices. Past redevelopment proposals for residential development have met opposition from the neighborhood. The building sits on land owned controlled by the board of the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf, though those schools sit across a deep draw of undeveloped forested acreage. The Board is scheduled to consider the proposal next week.
Glenn Borkowski, president of the Hillcrest Residents Association, has written neighbors to say Sharon Moone-Jochums, CEO of Easter Seals had been talking to him about the proposal and that "this seems at first blush like at least a step up from the current situation, which is underutilization of the property perhaps almost to the point of neglect. My understanding is that counsel to Easter Seals and counsel to the proposed purchaser are working on terms which will limit the future use of the property so there should be a mechanism for preventing the use of the property from spiraling out of control."
He said he was "hopeful that there is a scenario toward which we can all work that results in a net positive gain to Easter Seals, the Blind School and the immediate neighbors."