SAMMAMISH, Wash. – The Sammamish City Council approved a memorandum of understanding Tuesday to allow Central Washington University to lease the empty Mars Hill Church space.

The memorandum, which was also signed by CWU president James Gaudino and approved by a 6-1 council vote, will go to city manager Lyman Howard to be officially approved.

“This is obviously not a done deal yet, but it’s looking pretty good,” city spokesman Tim Larson wrote in an email.

CWU intends to remodel the space and use it as a higher education center, according to the memorandum. Programs offered would include dual-credit programs, community continuing education courses, and coursework that could lead to a certificate, bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Sammamish, which bought the land for $6.1 million two years ago, has struggled to find tenants for the property. Earlier this year several groups, including Cascadia College and Lake Washington Institute of Technology, offered non-binding letters of intent. However, all backed out due to cost.

The property cover 30,000 square feet and is located at 120th – 228th Avenue Northeast in Sammamish.

The memorandum calls for a formal lease agreement by March 21.