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NCTC set on leasing downtown space for new Denton Center

North Central Texas College is one step closer to having a campus in downtown Denton. 

The community college's Board of Regents approved a move Monday night to post letters of intent to lease the old Denton Record-Chronicle building at 314 E. Hickory St., and a soon-to-be parking garage between Mulberry and Sycamore streets. 

By law, the letter has to be posted for 60 days before officials can finalize the lease agreement, said Robbie Baugh, vice president of administrative affairs for NCTC.

"We approved a resolution to enter into a lease agreement with the developers to lease that building, and for them to go ahead and move forward with predesign work and work with us to get a layout," Baugh said. 

Officials will also be negotiating how to structure the 25-year lease, the interest on it and at what point NCTC would have the option to buy the building. As it currently stands, Baugh says the proposed agreement is worth about $33 million over the 25-year term.

An artistic rendering of the proposed North Central Texas College's Downtown Denton Center at 314 E. Hickory St.Axis Realty
An artistic rendering of the proposed North Central Texas College's Downtown Denton Center at 314 E. Hickory St.
Axis Realty

Plans for the properties right now are conceptual. The parking garage would be four stories and fit about 350 vehicles. The main building for the center would be about 45,000 square feet and have classrooms and meeting space. 

Lee Ramsey, whose company, Links Construction, is working to redevelop the property, did not return a request for comment. 

Officials first announced their intentions in June and have been working since then to take the necessary steps to secure the building. 

An artistic rendering of the proposed North Central Texas College downtown Denton Center's four-story parking garage between East Mulberry and East Sycamore streets.Axis Realty
An artistic rendering of the proposed North Central Texas College downtown Denton Center's four-story parking garage between East Mulberry and East Sycamore streets.
Axis Realty

Construction would probably start in April, then the center would open for classes in fall 2019, Baugh said. 

"We’re really excited about being in downtown Denton, that’s for sure," Baugh said.  "That’s going to be a game changer for us."

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889.