Former Laurelton School Sold

The Laurelton School. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)
The Laurelton School. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – After going up for auction last month, the former Laurelton Elementary School located on Route 88 has finally been sold.

  At the April 28 Brick Township Board of Education meeting, members approved a contract prepared by auctioneer Max Spann. Spann was first awarded a contract to hold auction at the January 26 Board of Education meeting and later hosted an online auction on April 26.

  The winning bid was submitted by Apex Realty Investment, LLC, of Edison, Middlesex County.

  The bid was priced at $1,125,000, according to the contract. In addition, the buyers are paying a commission of $112,500 to the auction house since the property is taxpayer-owned.

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    The Laurelton School building dates back to 1934, but according to documents the school has been present since the 1870s. It was formerly an elementary school and was later transitioned to an alternate school for students struggling in the regular high school setting.

  The school officially closed to students in 2008, and the 2-acre site has remained vacant since. Back in February, members of the Brick Township Board of Education voted to contract with an auctioneer in order to sell the land. The decision to accept offers was approved due to the positive real estate market, Board President Stephanie Wohlrab stated.

  Although the district had previously heard from interested buyers before deciding to auction the land, no deal was ever officially made.

  The building was previously assessed in 2019 to be valued at $620,000. During that time, the district was granted permission to subdivide the school property. The front portion facing Route 88 is the area being sold at auction, while a loading dock and storage facility behind the school will remain with the district, officials said.

  In 2022, the property has a total assessed value of $1,516,100. The school measures 8,500 square feet.

  The auctioneer’s website stated how the Laurelton School property is “ready for redevelopment.” It also detailed the different types of development the site could possibly support, since the property resides in a specific zone.

  “The B-3 Highway Development Zone designation allows for long and short-term care medical facilities, offices, retail, restaurant, microbrewery, distribution and more,” the site stated.

  At the BOE meeting, the board voted unanimously to accept the offer from the buyer.

  Business administrator James Edwards said although the buyer did not specify how the company would use the property, he stated they are known to develop small medical offices and facilities in other areas of the state.

  The new buyer is not required to demolish the existing building on the site. However, officials said the building would need serious environmental remediation in order to address any asbestos and lead paint.