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ISSAQUAH, WA-Trinity Lutheran College has extended the deadline for offers on its 40-acre campus here from the end of September to the middle of October, as several interested buyers doing detailed research on the property needed more time to complete proposals, says Jim Norman, a principal with Seattle-based Sage Real Estate Strategies, which is handling the disposition.

The college’s low density campus includes 220,000 sf in eight buildings situated on 28 acres that could hold still more buildings, and two wooded six-acre parcels that do not hold any buildings. Current facilities include classrooms, a chapel, dining rooms, an auditorium, residence halls, gymnasium, indoor swimming pool and fitness center. Sage on Aug. 1 sent its offering to some 230 public and private universities, commercial colleges and high schools at the behest of Trinity, which prefers that the property continue as a center for learning.

Norman says the market will ultimately determine the price of the property, but it could sell for “anywhere from the high $20 millions to the high $30 millions,” which is one half to one-third of what it would cost to reproduce the campus on raw land, he says.

Because of the tremendous interest among institutional purchasers, Norman says it is highly unlikely the property would ever be sold to residential developers. In addition to the would-be educational buyers, however, Norman says there also is interest from senior care developers, as the Trinity Campus is surrounded by variety of seniors housing.

Trinity is selling the property because it wants to be located in a more urban setting. “We want to be much closer to a large city,” says Trinity president John Stamm.

Norman says Sage is evaluating appropriate relocation sites for Trinity from Marysville to Tacoma, but won’t get serious about it until after the sale of the college’s existing property, which will determine how much it has to spend. Ideally, the college wants to find 100,000-125,000 sf with nearby access to recreational facilities.

Norman says the college is entertaining all options, from taking over an old hotel on the Interstate 5 corridor that has lots of meeting (would-be classroom) space to renovating an old building in Downtown Seattle or Tacoma. “We are looking for a reuse opportunity and we are looking in the broadest sense,” says Norman.

The timeline to accomplish both the sale of the existing campus and the acquisition and move-in to a new campus is three to five years, says Norman.

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