Land bank on the verge of signing the 1st tenant of Cooper Progress Park | Business
MOUNT VERNON – The Knox County Land Bank Board of Directors has approved an out-of-state company signing as the first tenant of Cooper Progress Park.
“This is a new manufacturing company in the area, so it will be net new jobs in the area,” Jeff Gottke, chairman of the land bank and the Area Development Foundation, told Knox Pages on Tuesday. “Probably 10 jobs to start and up to 30 after they get up and go. “
The company is interested in the 17,260 square foot three bay test facility. Gottke declined to give the name of the company, but said its salaries were competitive with local manufacturing salaries.
“No lease has been signed. We have an agreement in principle, ”he said. “I expect that next week we will have signed the final documents.
“They want to start as soon as possible, in August. “
Gottke said the delay is related to utilities and on-site equipment the company will need or want to access. The other block is that the land bank still has no deed on the former Siemens campus of Schlumberger, the parent company of Cooper Cameron (now Cameron).
“Schlumberger is currently performing environmental testing. They will look at the test results to see if they can hand the building back to us, ”Gottke said. “The agreement [with the start-up company] is a lease to own. They don’t want to make a deal unless they know they can get their own property.
“We should know in the next week what the test results were on the building.”
Cooper Park Development Corp., the entity that manages the day-to-day operations of Cooper Progress Park and reports to the land bank, is in the process of forming an association of owners. The HOA will detail how the industrial site is fragmented, common areas, parking and other issues.
Gottke said any business interested in relocating to Cooper Progress Park will need to agree to be part of the HOA. He expects the HOA deal to be done in a month or two.
Referring to the HOA at the land bank meeting on July 9, board chair Teresa Bemiller said, “We knew this was going to be a big business and it will take time. It’s complicated and we want to make sure we get it right.
Also at the July meeting, council accepted Aaron Hemry’s request to purchase 306 E. Burgess Street for $ 15,000. Land Bank vice chairman Sam Filkins said Hemry will do a full house rehabilitation.
Hemry, who owns a construction business, plans to sell it for an owner-occupied residence when he finishes rehab. He plans to complete exterior work before winter and interior work during winter.
Regarding the old Mount Vernon News building on West Vine Street, Filkins said the architects were working on designs. The designs are based on what is the highest and best return for the community in that space.
“We looked at adding a second floor, making the second floor condos with outdoor space and the first floor being a business or office,” Filkins told Knox Pages. “We know there is a need for housing. We know a lot of people were interested in lofts [apartments] downtown, but they were not accessible to the public.
Filkins said that when it comes to line of sight, a two-story building wouldn’t be intrusive because the building next door is a three-story building.
“But the main thing, whatever there is in there, is to revamp the facade, to cut some windows and to adapt it to the city center,” he said. “Once we have a good idea of what this might be, we’ll try to find a developer who will try to make it happen.”