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Easter Seals property 

The former Easter Seals training center at the east end of Lee Avenue has long been a festering sore for the surrounding residential neighborhood in Hillcrest and for Easter Seals, which has tried repeatedly to unlock some value from the abandoned building and land lease since moving to new quarters in western Little Rock years ago. Neighbors have always thrown up a roadblock of objections.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, the Board of the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf has an opportunity to lance the boil.

It will consider two proposals for the almost 10-acre tract on which the building sits. Little Rock businessman John Chandler has offered $240,000 to Easter Seals for the building and to take over its $1-a-year 50-year lease with the School for Blind for the property, which sits across a wooded ravine from the school. Chandler wants to use the building for offices, including his own small clothing company. Neighbors oppose commercial use of the building.

A competing offer has arisen from Doug Martin, a Stephens Inc. executive who lives nearby on Hill road, who's proposed to pay $480,000, split equally between the school and Easter Seals, to buy the land and building outright. He'd spend up to $500,000 to remove the building and put eight acres of the property into a permanent conservation easement, meaning it could never be developed. He'd build a single-family home on the remaining property.

The Hillcrest Residents Association has endorsed Martin's proposal. Some would favor converting the space to green space, but the state has never shown an inclination to do that. Nor does it have the money to clear the property.

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Speaking of Easter Seals

  • State board to move against Easter Seals

    January 22, 2013
    Joann Coleman, a neighbor to the abandoned Easter Seals center on Lee Avenue that sits on land controlled by the board of the state schools for the blind and deaf, reports from a board meeting on the latest development in that long-running saga. /more/
  • Easter Seals sent eviction notice on Lee Ave. building

    July 11, 2012
    The board of the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf has sent an eviction notice to the Arkansas Easter Seals Society and other occupants of the former Easter Seals training center at the east end of Lee Avenue across a wooded draw from the campus of the schools. /more/
  • Blind/Deaf School Board votes to terminate Easter Seals lease

    June 21, 2012
    A long-running battle over a long-contested piece of property in Hillcrest took a surprising turn tonight. /more/
  • Midweek line

    May 16, 2012
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    January 20, 2012
    New summary: Prison guard slain; judicial confirmation hearing set; Romney implodes. /more/
  • Over the hump

    December 14, 2011
    The Wednesday night line is open. Closing out: * EASTER SEALS AND THE BLIND SCHOOL: The Board for the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf met last night and heard further from Doug Martin on his proposal to buy Blind School land at the east end of Lee Avenue for a single-family residence. /more/
  • Monday night line

    November 28, 2011
    The line is open. Finishing up: * SOLAR POWER: An array of public officials cut a ribbon today on new solar panels at the L'Oreal cosmetics plant in North Little Rock that are said to be able to provide 20,000 kilowatt hours of electricty per year. /more/
  • Blind/Deaf School Board rejects Easter Seals proposal

    November 18, 2011
    The Board of the Arkansas Schools for the Blind and Deaf last night rejected a proposal from Easter Seals to transfer its $1-a-year lease of almost 10 acres of Blind School land to Little Rock businessman John Chandler, who proposed to buy the former Easter Seals center on the property at the eastern end of Lee Avenue for business offices, including for his clothing business. /more/
  • The morning report: Demagogue Dustin, Hillcrest dispute, Penn State, health care

    November 15, 2011
    Some odds and ends from mail and elsewhere this morning: * HILLCREST PROPERTY DISPUTE: The Hillcrest Residents Association heard competing proposals last night to redevelop the former Easter Seals training center building at the eastern end of Lee Avenue. /more/
  • Proposal made for Easter Seals property

    November 13, 2011
    I'm in receipt of more details about an alternate proposal for the former Easter Seals training center property at the east end of Lee Avenue across a ravine from the owner of the land underneath the building, the Arkansas School for the Blind. /more/
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