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Some developers are going the extra mile to establish good community relations. In the case of a project in Fort Wayne, Ind., for example, Northbrook, Ill.-based Pine Tree Commercial Realty and Oak Brook, Ill.-based Inland Real Estate Corp. spent $200,000 to relocate a historic schoolhouse instead of razing the building for a tenth of that sum.

The 1,835-square-foot brick schoolhouse dates back to 1892. When Pine Tree Commercial and Inland started clearing a 32-acre development site to build the 275,000-square-foot Orchard Crossing shopping center the partners had the option of dismantling the building, says Bruce L. Boruszak, executive vice president of development with Pine Tree. Because the schoolhouse featured rich period details, including tin ceilings, Victorian-era wall coverings and imported Italian moldings, they decided to relocate it. They moved the school with hydraulic lifts.

“It's one of the few schoolhouses of its kind in Indiana,” says Boruszak. “And since we wanted to be a part of the community, it was too important a piece to tear down.”

Orchard Crossing is scheduled to open in October 2008.

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