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No dorms to be built at Glendale Community College

November 1, 2011 | 11:32 am

Glendale Community College
Glendale Community College officials have rejected a proposal from a developer to construct an on-campus dormitory, saying that they were unwilling to commit to the long-term land lease and financial obligations that came with the project.

In August, Glendale resident and Korean businessman Chang Lee connected the college with WAM Development Group, which pitched a one-year, exclusive-right-to-negotiate contract to explore the possibility of building a 175-room residential facility, the Glendale News-Press reported.

It would have served to house the college's growing international student population, which typically hovers at about 500. International students pay non-resident tuition, and the extra cash helps pay for additional classes at the college.

During a special study session in September, several college trustees said they were open to entering into a preliminary, one-year agreement with WAM to at least explore the details of the $30-million project, noting that it would come at no upfront cost to the college.

But as negotiations unfolded, WAM brought to the table a contract that included stipulations the college could not commit to, President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay said.

Among them was a 60- to 65-year land-lease agreement and a guarantee that the dormitory would have an occupancy rate of at least 70%, Lindsay said. If occupancy fell below that level, the college would be obligated to pay the developer the difference.

"There was no way," Lindsay said, emphasizing that all college revenue needs to be invested in students.

In addition, a survey showed that students were more interested in apartments than dorms, Lindsay said.

Lee, who has played an integral role in establishing and fostering relationships between South Korea, the city of Glendale and Glendale Community College, said Monday that he was disappointed the proposal fell flat. When he travels abroad to promote the college as a destination for Korean students, one of the first questions he is asked is where those students will live, Lee said.

"Sometimes you have to look at whether the positives outweigh the negatives," Lee said. "I thought in this case there were more positives than negatives."


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-- Megan O'Neil, Times Community News

Photo: Glendale Community College officials have rejected a proposal from a developer to construct an on-campus dormitory. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times