City taking bids for 4th-floor developer

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2000

City leaders want to rent the Ironton City Center’s fourth floor but need development costs before moving forward.

Tuesday, June 06, 2000

City leaders want to rent the Ironton City Center’s fourth floor but need development costs before moving forward.

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"We have interested parties ready to go," city facilities manager John Schwab said after Ironton City Council’s Finance Committee meeting Monday.

"What we’re looking for are bids for design and construction of that office space," Schwab said.

Finance Committee members sponsored a resolution to council seeking such bids.

Advertising for bids will not commit the city to anything but will provide exact costs of financing the project and what potential renters will pay, members said.

Ironton Municipal Court wants to use part of the 13,000-square-foot floor, which is ready for remodeling, Schwab said.

Two interested renters, one a government-type agency, are looking at the remaining area and would like to move in as soon as possible, he said.

Estimates on developing the space are as high as $45 per square foot, while rent could be about $6 per square foot per year, city engineer Joe McCallister said.

The original fourth floor rental project, as initially approved by council in the past, was intended to be a wash, committee chair Jim Tordiff said.

In other words, costs of constructing the rental spaces would have to be offset completely by rental income, he said.

"And with the shape we’re in now, we can’t do anything unless it’s a total wash," Tordiff added.

Under several debt service estimates, developing the space at $45 per square foot seems to high and renting at $6 seems to low to recover costs, city finance director Cindy Anderson said.

"We won’t know the exact costs (of each) unless we go out for bid on design," Mrs. Anderson said.

Finance Committee members said they still have questions about potential renters’ commitment to using the space, the financial impact of space used by the court and other issues, but agreed to seek bids to get the design and construction cost estimates established.

Seeking bids will allow the city to move quickly in trying to fill the space, Schwab said.

"We want the fourth floor developed in the best interests of the city in whatever way we need to do it," Schwab said.

If the bids fit what the city needs, and the finance packages work out, then council will be in a position to start the project if its members feel comfortable with it, he said.

Then, the city can start working with the potential fourth floor renters, Schwab said.