SHENANGO TWP. — A New Jersey-based Islamic educational consulting firm placed the high bid for the former Youth Development Center property owned by the state.
The state Department of General Services reported Thursday that it had accepted a $400,000 bid from Hira Educational Services of North America for the former YDC property along Frew Mill Road in Shenango Township. The company, located in Newark, N.J., placed the highest of three bids for the property.
Sumner McDanel placed a bid of $305,000, and Asif Kunwar made the minimum bid of $300,000. Kunwar is named as a founder of Hira Educational Services on the company’s web site.
An attempt by The Ledger on Thursday to ascertain what Hira wants to do with the property was unsuccessful. Hira’s website indicates that it promotes “the on-going success of Islamic schools by providing high quality, low cost, professional consulting to Islamic schools throughout the United States.”
Hira’s services include teacher training, fundraising advice and curriculum development.
With the state’s acceptance of Hira’s bid, it has 15 days to return a signed sales agreement for the property, and the sale could be complete within four months.
The 150-acre property has been vacant since the state closed YDC in 2013. State authorities had received no previous offers in two previous rounds of bidding. The property’s initial value was set at $2 million, but the minimum bid was lowered to $300,000 for the latest round.
Earlier this year, the Lawrence County Commissioners authorized the planning department to bid on purchasing the former YDC property, but Commissioner Dan Vogler said Thursday that the county opted not to bid on the facility.
Vogler said the commissioners discussed the possibility of making a bid with officials from Shenango Township and the county economic development corporation, but ultimately opted out.
“We thought that, on one hand, we might have been able to come up with the minimum bid,” he said. “But if we had been the successful bidder, we would have been obligated for the ongoing maintenance costs of the property.”
Vogler said officials from Shenango Township had contacted him about the bid, and that he had little knowledge of Hira or its plans for the facility, and therefore had no comment.
“We really have no knowledge on who the bidders are, (or) what their plans are,” he said.
Visit for website: http://ummahlink.org