Article - Office of College Advancement

Trustees agree to lease frontage land

By Wes Bowers.

Thursday, August 9, 2007—Reprinted from Fremont Bulletin.

After years of delay and debate, Ohlone Community College Board of Trustees voted 5-0 Aug. 8 to approve a resolution explaining the school's intent to lease frontage property along Mission Boulevard.

Bids from prospective developers are due by Dec. 12.

Trustee John Weed recused himself from the vote, citing he owns property on the opposite side of Mission Boulevard. Trustee Bob Brunton abstained, citing numerous concerns he had with the resolution.

Some of Brunton's concerns included the 60-year lease condition stated in the land deal. The initial lease would be for 50 years, with one renewal option for 10 years.

Brunton claimed he was uncomfortable with the arrangement.

"I don't like the 60-year lease," he said. "I'd rather see a 30- or 40-year buyout option."

In addition, Brunton said he did not believe a development on the land would wholly benefit the college. He suggested any residential units built on the property should be dedicated to student housing or homes for staff and faculty.

Brunton said he didn't think there was enough data present at the meeting regarding preferences for the property.

The 19.1-acre parcel targeted fronts Mission Boulevard between the school's two entryways.

Suggested uses for the property, once it is leased, have been either retail, residential or a combination of both.

At past board meetings, discussions concluded that income generated from the lease would be used for capital improvement projects.

Upon development, the school would lose several parking lots between the campus and the land. But the lease requires the future developer to build new parking lots, where the baseball field stands today.

In turn, the baseball field will be either relocated to below the school's tennis courts, or a new field could be built at the school's rapidly finishing Newark campus.

If the field is built below the tennis courts, Ohlone President Douglas Treadway has informed the board the school would pay for construction, using income generated from the leased property.

Treadway said if the field is built in Newark, the semi-pro Western Baseball League has shown interest in financing a stadium, rather than just a field.

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