Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone mulls frontage lease

By Wes Bowers.

Thursday, June 21, 2007—Reprinted from Fremont Bulletin.

The Ohlone Community College Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on leasing surplus property it owns along Mission Boulevard at its July 11 meeting.

The board discussed the idea of leasing 19.1 acres of property at its June 13 meeting. But discussions with what to do with the property have been ongoing.

The surplus property fronts Mission Boulevard between the school's two entryways.

Ohlone officials in the past have discussed leasing the property, but with the possibility losing two of the parking lots closest to Mission Boulevard.

Ohlone's attorney, Jim Eller, said the intent of the upcoming resolution is to have a ground lease with one or more developers for the property. The suggested uses for the property once it is leased are either retail or residential development.

Additionally, the initial lease on the land would be for 50 years, with one renewal option for 10 years.

Eller said if the board approves the resolution, the next step is to set a specific time to start accepting bids on the property.

"I'd suggest setting October (as the bid start date), to give developers time to see the land, the bid, and give them time to develop something," Eller said.

But Eller said if the board chose to open bids before then, he would suggest doing so at a minimum of three weeks after the resolution is adopted, meaning bids on the property could open as early as Aug. 1.

Eller added the votes of five trustees are needed to pass the resolution.

Trustee John Weed will be abstaining from the vote, citing his ownership of property on the opposite side of Mission Boulevard.

That leaves the resolution in the hands of the six remaining trustees.

Bob Tavares, Mission San Jose Chamber of Commerce president, said some of his own board members are worried about potential uses for the land.

Tavares said a few chamber members are concerned that housing may be built on the site, raising questions of where new children in Mission San Jose might be enrolled with already-overcrowded schools.

According to Tavares, some sort of retail project or commercial space would be welcome and give Mission San Jose a needed "shot in the arm.

"We'd love to see some sort of retail or mixed use development. But I think right now the slant is to lean toward residential uses, and that raises concerns," he said.

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