The Palo Alto school district is still on track to acquire a coveted 2.6-acre parcel on San Antonio Road, school officials said.
Meanwhile, a housing developer Monday obtained City Council approval to build 10 large homes on the site in case the school deal falls apart.
The transaction, in which title will transfer from the current owner to the housing developer and then to the school district, is set to close November 1.
"At this point it appears we're moving forward," school Superintendent Kevin Skelly said Tuesday, following a Board of Education discussion of the deal in closed session.
"Until it closes, things can happen, but we're fairly confident it will close," he said.
The site at 525 San Antonio Road has been the subject of much speculation and negotiations between developer SummerHill Homes and the Palo Alto Unified School District, which is eyeing the site for a new school. The land is adjacent to Cubberley Community Center and Greendell Elementary School and school officials view it as a possible palliative to the recent spike in student population, particularly in south Palo Alto.
The negotiations haven't stopped SummerHill in pursuing approval from the city for a 10-home development -- a proposal SummerHill had dramatically scaled down after failing to get the city's approval for a denser project. The council had previously rejected SummerHill's request for a zone change, which would have enabled construction of 23 new homes.
This time, SummerHill had no such troubles. The council voted unanimously with little discussion to approve the project, which complies with the existing zoning regulations. Councilman Greg Scharff thanked SummerHill for listening to the city's direction and coming back with a proposal that's "fully in conformance" with the city's zoning ordinance.
"It looks like a good project," Scharff said.
Katia Kamangar, vice president at SummerHill, said the company is still in the process of negotiating the sale of the property to the school district. She said the district is "still in their analysis phase." The site had previously housed Peninsula Day Care Center, which closed in June after about 35 years.
Kamanger said the company wanted to get the city's approval for a new development to provide closure for the property owners, who she said are planning for retirement and "deserve to have a productive use for their land."
"Our land-use application provides them with this assurance," Kamangar said.
The school district has not specifically outlined what it plans to do with the property. Skelly said the board will discuss possible interim uses at its next regular meeting Oct. 25.