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Developers Back Out; College to Weigh Lower Bid on Land

December 15, 1988|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

A group of Glendale developers last week dropped plans to purchase 22 acres of Glendale Community College land, forcing officials to consider a lower bid for the property.

The Tensor Group bid $2.55 million for the hilly property just south of the college in August. But the group withdrew the bid after soils engineers advised the developers that the rugged site would be too difficult to develop, said Haik Vartanian, chairman of the group.

The Glendale College Board of Trustees was to reconsider a $2.15-million bid by Homes by Polygon, a Laguna-based development company, at a meeting late Wednesday. The Homes by Polygon bid, while less than that offered by the Tensor Group, is still greater than the $1.5-million minimum bid the board said it would accept.

The college intends to use $1.5 million from the sale of the property for construction projects including an 800-space parking lot. The balance of the sale proceeds are to be deposited in a reserve fund for future capital projects, said Jean Larson, college vice president of administrative services.

The Tensor Group had planned to build a secured community of large, high-priced homes on the two ridges southwest of the intersection of Mountain Street and the Glendale Freeway. The property is across the street from the college's main campus.

College officials are not sure what Homes by Polygon plans to do with the property, but the development company is already building 550 single-family homes, 130 duplex units and 130 four-unit complexes on land across the Glendale Freeway from the college.

In addition to the difficulty of developing the property, the Tensor Group was also concerned about the slow-growth movement in Glendale, Vartanian said.

"You do have to be a little careful about doing things when there is a moratorium around," Vartanian said. "This maybe isn't the best time for developers."

The Tensor Group outbid Homes by Polygon and another developer for the property at a half-hour auction at the college Aug. 24. Tensor Group officials had planned to build homes in the $500,000 price range on 15,000-square-foot lots on the site.

College trustees voted to sell the property in April after officials spent two years studying ways to use the property, Larson said. He said the lot's rugged terrain and location across busy Mountain Street make it too expensive to develop for use by the college. The college would have had to build an overpass spanning the street to the main campus to use the land, known as the Palmer Property, Larson said.

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