The Foundation for Santa Barbara City College had proposed purchasing the $33 million Harbor Heights Manor apartment complex that’s nestled between the two sides of campus, but SBCC President Lori Gaskin says it's not likely to happen.
SBCC is bordered by Cliff Drive, Oceano Avenue, the Santa Barbara waterfront and Pershing Park, and is split by Loma Alta Drive. Gaskin said buying the apartment property at Cliff and Loma Alta would make the campus contiguous.
“It’s a rare opportunity that something like that happens,” she told Noozhawk.
SBCC had an interest in acquiring the property for the long term, although not necessarily for student housing, which has long been in short supply.
The SBCC foundation became involved and made a proposal, but it was not accepted by the property owner, Gaskin said. The board had approved using SBCC general counsel Craig Price as the real property negotiator, which it needed to pursue the issue at all, she said.
The Board of Trustees was supportive of the proposal, but the property owner didn't accept it, Price said.
“It was never our intention to purchase it as the college purchasing it, but rather to look at opportunities, and the foundation in their visionary perspective said, ‘Let’s see if we can make something work,’” Gaskin explained.
She said she couldn’t discuss details, but credited the foundation for trying.