Search is on for industrial space
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | March 27,2013
A day after a conference that promoted new business in Rutland County, the Rutland Economic Development Corp. announced Tuesday it has begun a search to find a site to serve as a multi-tenant manufacturing hub for new and developing businesses.
REDC is putting out the word that it’s looking for manufacturing space because so far a search of available properties has failed to turn up the right facility, said REDC Executive Director Jamie Stewart.
REDC is seeking a location that has 25,000 to 50,000 square feet.
Stewart said some existing buildings are either too big or too small.
“It’s really important that we get the word out aggressively so that we get all potential options on the table to review,” he said.
Stewart said REDC’s preferred option is to buy an existing building. Asked whether new construction was an option, Stewart said “likely not at this point.”
“The first choice is to try to find some property that is underutilized,” he said
He said REDC would use a $100,000 grant from Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service as a down payment on the purchase. He said that would allow REDC to leverage a loan of up to $1 million from the Vermont Economic Development Authority.
When GMP and CVPS agreed to merge last year, the companies committed funds to develop the local economy and create jobs.
REDC evaluated several potential uses for the funds to accomplish its two primary goals: creating high-paying jobs and creating a revenue-generating asset for REDC to fund future economic development.
Stewart said REDC’s finance committee reviewed options including real estate-based activities, expanding the revolving loan fund and program development. He said the committee decided the best plan was real estate development and management.
Ray Ault, a commercial Realtor who serves on REDC’s real estate committee, said finding the right building hasn’t been easy.
“There’s darn few buildings in Rutland County that have 50,000 square feet,” Ault said.
But by putting out the word that REDC is in the market for a large manufacturing site, he said a property owner may come forward.
Ault said, “I know we are hoping owners will call and let’s us know whether they have vacant space, or as importantly, whether they are thinking of vacating their own building and selling it, or offering it for lease.”
Stewart said REDC does not have a tenant or tenants lined up. He said the goal is to have the space ready to build upon Green Mountain Power’s solar energy initiative and the green economy.
“We would hope in the new facility we would be accommodating some businesses in that sector,” he said.
Last year, REDC sold the remaining two lots in the Airport Business Park in North Clarendon. A REDC-owned building in the Cold River Industrial Park on Quality Lane in Rutland Town is also fully occupied.
REDC’s announcement follows the Grow Your Business Over-Easy conference Monday at Castleton State College. The all-day event featured panel discussions and experts in business development with the specific goal of drumming up new business in the city and county.
For more information, contact REDC at 773-9147 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.