Here is the sales Purchase Agreement-3150 W Main Street which includes a “free return” clause.
We found it interesting that a former CWI Foundation board member, Gregory Byron, is listed on the document as the attorney of record for the Rice family–sellers of 10 acres to CWI. Byron resigned in January from his foundation board position.
Coincidentally, the Thornton, Byron law office is across the street from the land in question on the corner of 30th and Main. That building is owned by “River Front Plaza, LLC, whose principal agent is Michael Fery. No other owners are listed on the state records.
The Foundation is the fund raising component of the institution and the volunteer members are a mix of community members and staff of CWI.
Lack of an appraisal prior to entering into a purchase agreement caused concern for the GUARDIAN and subsequently the general public. We find it unusual for the school to pay for a land survey, but not a professional independent appraisal to establish value. Ada County valued the property at $3.6 million, but the sales price was $8.8 million.
Since Byron was not acting as a lawyer for the CWI foundation, there is not likely any ethical violation with him knowing of a potential acquisition of land and using insider information to benefit his client, the Rice family trust.
He reportedly has told legacy media he resigned to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.
All of this boils down to a gigantic public relations debacle for CWI. They are in the position of owning land at an inflated price with a public perception of bungling at best. The loss of public trust at this juncture is palpable when it comes to approval of construction bond financing to the tune of about $150,000,000.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.