EVERETT — Trinity Lutheran College has experienced another hitch in its efforts to build a student dorm downtown.
The private college had filed plans with the city to turn a parking lot on the corner of California Street and Oakes Avenue into a 100-unit residence hall.
The deal to purchase that property fell through, however, because the asking price had increased by several hundred thousand dollars, school president John Reed told the city’s planning commission Tuesday.
The college now is proposing a six-story residence hall on another parking lot located in the 2600 block of Rockefeller Avenue, two blocks to the north.
The project would have a different layout at the new site: 58 rooms, each large enough for two students.
Trinity Lutheran’s plans were dealt an initial setback when developer Jim Potter of Footprint Investments died of cancer in May 2014. Koz Development, whose CEO and president Cathy Reines worked for Potter, took over where Footprint left off.
The dorm project — in both locations — needs city approval because the school wants to use its existing parking garage to meet the city’s requirement that new multiunit housing developments should provide off-street parking on the site.
The garage on California Street has 350 stalls, of which Reed said the school uses about half. Trinity Lutheran’s main building is at 2802 Wetmore Ave., across the street from the garage.
The school has about 250 students, but Reed told the commission he expects that number to grow to 525 in five years.
The school plans to start issuing parking permits for the garage, and freshmen likely won’t be able to park there once the new facility is built, Reed said.
Koz Development needs city approval of the school’s parking plan by April in order to have the new dorm built and open by August 2016, Reines said.
She told the commission that it was much likelier that this location will work out and the project will get built because it is a simpler transaction.
One of the problems with the previous location was that the building would not be owned by the school, and the owner wanted to ensure that the building could be converted into market-rate housing if the school were to leave the area.
At the new location, the school would own the building, and has lined up financing for the construction, Reines said.
Reines said the plan for 300-square-foot units can easily be converted into studio apartments with the addition of kitchen facilities.
Trinity bought the lot from the Everett United Church of Christ. The lot is in poor shape and the church needed the money for roof repairs, said Becky Hoepcke, the church’s treasurer.
“You’re looking at asphalt with a hole in it. We’d just as soon something else be there,” Hoepcke said.
A public hearing will be scheduled soon, after which the planning commission will make a recommendation to the City Council.