LEDC seeks tenants

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Strip development offers restaurant, professional space

Last month Jeremy Clay, associate executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation, announced plans for a new strip development at The Point industrial park in South Point. Now work on that project is slowly moving forward, but it won’t be completed, or even started, until the LEDC can secure at least two clients to make the five-unit project economically viable.

“We have to make good sound business decisions (for the county),” Clay said. “So the hope is that we can identify at least two tenants, of the five tenant facility, and that really makes the project financially viable. Where we can take a little bit of a risk, but we’re not going to be in the red.”

What Clay and the LEDC envision is a facility featuring two restaurants, and the other three spaces filled by various professional services.

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“We know there is a need for that entering the (industrial) park,” Clay said. “We have a couple of fine little places in South Point to eat, but we have a large population of workers at one time taking lunch, and it really hinders their flexibility for them to all (try to) get served at one place.”

“So we believe there is a need, from the comment of the businesses, for some more food options,” Clay continued. “So we would hope that we could get another food option or so in there.”

The two larger end spaces would be ideally suited to a restaurant, Clay explained, while the three interior shops would be better suited to professional services or maybe some small retail.

“We’re designed, possibly, for the layout of two restaurants,” Clay said. “But we don’t have any restaurants identified yet.”

They do have one of the two required tenants lined up, however.

“We do have one solid business so far who is verbally committed to the project,” he said. “We just really need to find the other.”

While most of the LEDC’s focus is on other, larger projects, Clay explained, this is one that utilizes a plot of unused land already under LEDC ownership, adjacent to the Chamber of Commerce. Once they find the tenant, it should be able to start fairly quickly.

“We have our preliminary drawings probably 85 percent complete today. So we know, roughly, what it’s going to cost us, and we know that it will take probably about seven months to six months to complete the structure and its parking and utilities. It’s just we need to get that one more tenant,” Clay said. “We’re a great location. We have over 34,000 people a day that travel by the site on U.S. 52, and then we have all the workers at the Point to help support it as well.”