CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — After further negotiations, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights library officials have reached preliminary agreement with their tenants at the embattled Coventry PEACE Campus.
“On Monday (Aug. 31) CPC President Deanna Bremer Fisher signed a Letter of Intent created by Heights Libraries that outlines the primary business terms and conditions under which the Library will lease the building to the CPC,” a Tuesday news release from the Heights Libraries stated.
The details of a new lease will be now worked out over the next few weeks, and must be signed by the CPC by Sept. 30, the release added.
That lease will begin Oct. 1 and be good for one year, at which time it may be converted to a longer-term lease, provided the CPC is in good standing and has fulfilled the lease requirements.
Under the new terms, beginning next month, the CPC will pay $500 per month in rent in addition to paying for its own insurance and real estate taxes. It will also pay $12,000 a month for utilities, the release stated.
Tuesday’s announcement came after the Heights Library board of trustees convened briefly on Aug. 17 for a special meeting to consider signing an earlier proposed letter of intent, then rejected a counter-offer presented immediately beforehand by the CPC.
Responding Aug. 18 to a request for comment and copies of any updated correspondence or other materials filed with the Heights Libraries, the Coventry PEACE Campus Executive Board stated that “because we are still in negotiations with the library, we have no comment at this time and cannot provide any documents.”
The previous two-year lease between the library and the CPC tenants expired at the end of June, followed by about 20 hours of further negotiations after threats of month-to-month leases, evictions and possible demolition of the old school came in early July..
Heights Libraries had stepped in to buy the building and 6-acre campus from the CH-UH board of education for $1 in the spring of 2018, after the nonprofit tenants were put on month-to-month leases by the school district with plans to have the City of Cleveland Heights market the property for private development.
The goal was to move toward self-sufficiency over the next two years, however, the COVID-19 pandemic intervened, effectively closing the PEACE campus to the public in March and eliminating revenue sources for the tenants.
Additional comments were being sought Tuesday from Heights Library Director Nancy Levin and Fisher.
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