The Pacific Art League has inked a deal with local developer Jim Baer to purchase and rehabilitate its nearly 80-year-old Ramona Street building, a spokeswoman announced Friday.
The league will sell the three-story structure for $3.4 million to Premier Properties Management and Sand Hill Property Company, according to spokeswoman Jill Arnone with The Arnone Group.
The developers will seismically stabilize the unreinforced building -- made of hollow clay bricks -- and add accessibility and code compliance features, Arnone said.
The league will purchase a 3,250-square-foot first floor for an expanded gallery and classroom. The top two floors will be subdivided and sold as commercial condominiums, according to Arnone.
The project sparked controversy within the 600-member organization and rumors spread that the league planned to move from its downtown location.
Board Chair Carol Nast had emphasized the leadership's intention to keep the art organization downtown.
The sale would finance needed upgrades and additional gallery and classroom space for the league, Nast said.
Members will have an opportunity to vote on the deal Nov. 29.
About $2.5 million from the sale will be used to purchase a larger facility for classes and offices.
"We are looking for a building with between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet within 10 miles of the Ramona site," a FAQ statement on the league's Web site states.
The league can remain in the building until the end of 2008 or possibly longer and will be able to return by 2010, according to the statement.
Nast and Baer could not be reached Friday.