Liebert signs 10-year lease with LEDC

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Liebert Corp.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Liebert Corp. leaders signed a 10-year lease of the former Cabletron Systems Inc. building Tuesday, setting the stage for the technology company’s expected startup in five weeks.

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"The thing we gain here is an international company with a background that is exceptional and they’re here for the long haul," said Bob Dalton, Lawrence Economic Development Board president.

The LEDC owns the Ironton building Liebert will occupy and granted the new tenant a "triple net" lease, LEDC executive director Pat Clonch said.

Liebert will be responsible for taxes, maintenance and payments, Mrs. Clonch said.

"So, they’re in control of the building," she said.

Liebert also has an option to buy the property or maintain the lease for 10 years.

State officials announced last month that Liebert would set up shop as part of a $4 million project to manufacture precision heating and air-conditioning equipment like that used in computer rooms.

Company officials said the plant will employ an estimated 150 people within six months and an additional 50 people over the next three years.

State tax incentives – those formerly granted by the state and the LEDC to Cabletron – helped entice Liebert to the area.

Liebert will take advantage of the same incentives because the LEDC secured the incentives for the facility, which it owns, Mrs. Clonch said.

The LEDC will continue follow-up work with Liebert but company leaders plan a quick startup – within five weeks, she said.

"They are the type and kind of company that can come in here and hit the ground running," she said.

Crews have already installed one of the company’s biggest pieces of equipment. A plant manager has been chosen, although the company hasn’t made it public, Mrs. Clonch said.

The company is screening applications at the Workforce Development Resource Center and conducting interviews at the plant.

And, its first round of worker training will be held in Columbus next week, Mrs. Clonch said.

"There’s a lot more to do but it will go fast," she said.

Dalton said that activity, as well as the attendance of the company’s international president at the lease signing, speaks well for Liebert’s commitment.

"They feel that this is an important endeavor," he said.

Although wary from Cabletron’s unfulfilled agreement, which had promised expansion and longevity, city and county officials also have said that Liebert is the type of company that makes good on expansion plans.

"We’re convinced we have another good employer," Mrs. Clonch said.

In addition to jobs that will reduce Ironton’s economic woes from 1,000 jobs lost last year, Liebert’s move to the city projects the right image for future development, she said.

"That’s what any industry looks for – companies moving in."

Liebert, created in the late 1940s, expanded into serving the computer industry in the mid-1960s. It has been a division of St. Louis-based Emerson Electric Co. since 1987.