Home Local Palm Springs COD approves plans for west valley campus in a building they do not own

COD approves plans for west valley campus in a building they do not own

COD approves plans for west valley campus in a building they do not own
(Trip Advisor)
(Trip Advisor)
(Trip Advisor)

Students in Palm Springs who are tired of driving to Palm Desert to go to class might at first be excited to hear that The College of the Desert Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a master plan for a West Valley Campus in the Palm Springs Mall. Only one problem, the school does not own the building and the landlord has what appears to be no intention to sell it.

Plans call for a campus of 330,000 square feet to be built in 5 phases at the currently (almost) abandoned mall. The campus would have classrooms, a library, a conference center, and even some retail space.

But, there is one giant problem with the plan, owner of the mall Haiming Tan, a businessman who lives in China, does not appear to want to sell the building to COD, according to the Desert Sun:

Ownership of the property, though, is a critical step in ushering those plans along. Meanwhile, communication between Tan and COD has been sparse. Michael Leifer, an attorney representing Tan, could not immediately be reached Friday for comment. However, in a February interview, Leifer said he hadn’t heard from COD since 2014.

COD attorney Robert Hargreaves said during Friday’s meeting that the college had made a second offer on the property sometime this spring but had not received a response. Tan bought the mall property in 2012 for $9.4 million. COD did not disclose the amount of their offers to Tan.

And one can see why.  Who would want to unload all this:

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And this:

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But, as the newspaper points out, COD could still get its way by forcing Tan out through eminent domain – which could happen as early as July.

Students living in Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Palm Springs made up almost 30 percent of College of the Desert’s enrollment in 2013.

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