YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Children’s Corner Nursery School is the latest tenant to move into the unused French Hill Elementary School after a 10-year lease agreement was approved Tuesday night by the Board of Education.
The lease agreement effectively began on Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2022. Children’s Corner will pay $6,785 per month for the first year, and at the end of 12 month period, the monthly rent will increase by either three percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is greater.
When he first began renting out the building, Assistant Superintendent for Business Tom Cole set an annual rent revenue goal of $320,000 to properly maintain the building. Cole, however, said that the initial goal of simply maintaining the building has been reached, and the building is now operating at a surplus.
“It is more than self-sustaining. It will actually produce a revenue stream for the Board of Education going into next year,” Cole said. “It’s a tax-free property because it belongs to the school district, which is a tax-free entity.”
Children’s Corner joins 10 other tenants that have already signed leases at French Hill. Cole said each lease has a clause in it that allows the district to take the school back in the case of increased enrollment.
The building was one of four elementary schools in the Yorktown Central School District, but closed before the 2010-11 school year due to declining enrollment.
A resident at Tuesday night’s meeting questioned why Yorktown couldn’t get even more of a revenue stream out of that building. Cole said he initially wanted to bring in one large company to lease out the entire building and struggled to find any takers. He then hired a marketing specialist who recommended bringing down the prices and targeting smaller office-type companies.
“For the first year that we marketed that building we had no response on the prices we went out at,” Cole said.
The dilapidated playground in the back of the property will now be fixed up, according to Cole, and will be used by Children’s Corner during the day.