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Bids to Lease Land at Pierce College Sought

Times Staff Writer

Trying to alleviate its budget crunch, the Los Angeles Community College District will seek bids from developers to lease 17.6 acres east of Pierce College that are used to grow feed for livestock in the college’s farm program.

The property, though technically part of Pierce College, is separated from the campus by Winnetka Avenue and the West Valley Occupational Center.

It lies directly east of the Occupational Center, between Topham Street on the north and Calvert Street on the south.

The district board of trustees decided at its meeting Wednesday that the property now serves no educational purpose and voted 5-0, with two members absent, to try to convert it into income to help ease budget pressures that have plagued the district since passage of the Proposition 13 tax-limitation initiative.

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Testing Market

A district spokesman said, however, that the offer is intended only to “see what the market will bring” and that the board can reject all bids if none is high enough.

The offer proposes a 75-year lease with two payment options, said Norm Schneider, director of communications. Schneider said one option would require a developer to pay the district $3 million in five annual installments of $600,000 each. The other would require annual payments of $300,000 over the life of the lease, he said.

The money would go to the district, not to Pierce itself.

Pierce College President David Wolf said the proposed leasing of the land has caused anxiety among some faculty members who fear that the loss of feed may jeopardize the livestock program and that the lease may presage efforts to divest parts of the college farm.

More Land Sought

Wolf said, however, that neither concern is justified.

“It is not something which has any significant effect on our operation,” he said of the land.

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Wolf said the land produces about $14,000 worth of feed a year but that the college is searching for larger parcels to cultivate on a more efficient basis.

“Seventeen acres is a rather small plot for doing this type of thing,” Wolf said.


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