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Easter Seals development

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The Hillcrest Residents Association has received an indication from Easter Seals that the charity won't pursue further a proposal to sell its land lease, and a largely vacant former training center on Lee Avenue, to Little Rock businessman John Chandler for $240,000 for redevelopment for offices.

Neighbors had objected to commercial use of the property, in a residential neighborhood near Stifft Station.

The land is owned by the Arkansas School for the Blind. The Board of the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf declined to approve the deal recently. The land, almost 10 acres, sits across a deep forested ravine from the state schools.

Rejection of the deal with Chandler now moves another proposal into consideration. Doug Martin, a Stephens Inc., executive, has proposed to buy the land outright, paying $240,000 each to the state and Easter Seals and paying up to $500,000 to raze the building. He'd build a single-family home and convert most of the property into guaranteed green space. It's uncertain where the school board stands on this idea.

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