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Marissa Barnett The Daily News


College of the Mainland trustees cleared the way Monday for the college to purchase an 84,000-square-foot building that formally housed JC Penney at the Mall of the Mainland in Texas City at a cost of $2.98 million.

The college plans to move its Allied Health program to the building, Dr. Clen Burton, vice president of fiscal affairs at the college, said. The program includes nursing, certified nursing assistant, pharmacy technician, health information and continuing education health programs, he said.

The college is still in a 90-day review process, including a property inspection, title and other real estate formalities, which could change some details of the deal, including the price, Burton said.

The allied health program is spread out over two locations, one at the main campus in Texas City and the other at its north campus, Burton said. Pending a deal, the program would be consolidated into the new building.

It’s still too early to say how soon the building may be up and ready for students, he said.

“We’ll have our architects determine the best setup and when we can start working on it,” Burton said.

Still, the college administration was enthusiastic about the board’s OK.

“We’re excited because it’s a chance to expand our programming,” Burton said.

Trustees unanimously approved the authorization of the purchase at a specially called board meeting.

Friendswood attorney and developer Jerome Karam, who, with an out-of-state partner owns the mall property at 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, in March finalized the purchase of the 451,000-square-foot property.

Last year, Karam bought the 150,000-square-foot building from Macy’s, which closed its department store at the mall in 2012, but still owned the property. Since then, Palais Royal has moved its mall store to the redeveloped Macy’s building, where a 42,000-square-foot World Gym also opened earlier this year.

Karam in June announced he finalized the sale of 150,000-square-foot Dillard’s building at the mall to First Baptist Church of Texas City.

-Marissa Barnett at 409-683-5257 or [email protected].