The Sertoma Club of Nashville intends to move forward with the foreclosure of the Easter Seals property between Woodmont Avenue and Graybar Lane, according to Sertoma's president.
The move to foreclose comes after the local Easter Seals chapter fell on hard financial times – it hasn't made a mortgage payment in almost a year.
Easter Seals, which provides caretaking and rehabilitation services to disabled children and adults, had reached an agreement to sell the property for about $2.5 million to The Gardner School, a for-profit day care company.
But that sale was contingent on the property being rezoned so that Gardner could increase its capacity from 75 children to 175. Many of the neighbors around the property balked at that plan, citing fears of increased traffic and potential damage to the residential nature of the area just east of Hillsboro Pike.
Because of that, District 25 Councilman Sean McGuire moved to defer a rezoning vote. McGuire’s decision came after Gardner officials made concessions that they would not seek an additional entrance to the property off Graybar Lane and cap enrollment at 149 children.
McGuire said he had spoken to Sertoma officials, who own the mortgage on the property, and had received assurances that foreclosure was not imminent.
As it turns out, according to local Sertoma President Houston Hill, that was not the case. When the rezoning vote was deferred, Hill said Sertoma decided to move forward with foreclosure.
“If it had passed, we would have re-evaluated our situation and allowed them sufficient time to complete their sale,” Hill said. “At a certain point, you have to do what you have to do.
“We have been very patient and understanding of their dilemma, but we can’t help the people we want to help because we’re being held up by this issue.”
A letter from an attorney representing Sertoma Club addressed to Easter Seals stated there hadn’t been a payment on the mortgage since last October. Fifth Third Bank owns a secondary note on the site and also could foreclose, Hill said.
After the Council vote to defer, McGuire apparently met with Gardner representatives in an effort to reach a compromise. McGuire stated that most of the neighbors were against the rezoning even after the compromise on the Graybar access point and the reduction in enrollment.