City OKs $3.7 million industrial spec building

May. 16, 2013 @ 05:17 PM

A new speculative building has been approved for construction on Goldmine Road. 

The building will be the third speculative building Monroe has built. City Council unanimously approved $3.7 million for the building at last week’s meeting. 

“What we’re doing is putting up a building...a 100,000 (square) foot building so companies that are looking to relocate can get here quicker,” Interim City Manager Greg Demko said. “We’ve done this a couple of other times, too, with good success.”

The first speculative building was purchased by Greneir Bio One and the second building was purchased by Record-USA, Chris Platé, executive director of Monroe economic development and aviation, said. 

“Both of those have been North American headquarters located in our previous two (speculative buildings),” Platé said. 

The funding for the building is coming out of the electric utility because it is a speculative building of the city’s light and power agency, Demko said. They are looking for new customers for electrical usage as well. 

Demko noted that while there is available commercial space in Monroe, not all of it is feasible. 

“There’s a lot of commercial space, but much of it doesn’t fit the different types of companies that are looking to come here,” Demko said. 

The location for the building is in the corporate center, where a lot of companies are interested in locating and they had already had a couple of showings, Demko said. 

Platé said they have already shown the building, which is under construction, to a potential client. The building is expected to be completed in August. 

“It’s already spurred some activity that we would not have had the opportunity to see,” Platé said. 

Building speculative, or shell, buildings was a common strategy in the 90s and the early 2000s that slowed when the economy slowed. 

“Because there was no new (space) being put in the marketplace here, as well as in the Charlotte region, as a result of that anything that was available was taken,” Platé said. “(We are) now in a position where we do not have that many buildings at all, whether they are in good shape or bad shape, to show to a prospect.” 

He said the company Midway Aircraft Instrument Corporation moved here in November and the building they moved into had been open for a month and a half. Companies are interested in moving into a pre-existing building instead of building, so they can move quickly, Platé said. 

“If it’s a quality building, it’s gone,” Platé said.

The building was designed based on the inquiries the city had been receiving from potential buyers. It is more rectangular, has about 30-foot ceilings and is 102,000 square feet. Platé said that is double the size of the other two speculative buildings and all of the buildings are designed so companies can build additions. 

“It’s one of those building that, when it’s completed, will show very, very well,” Platé said. 

Platé said he was thankful to city council for having the forethought to approve the funding and the new building will put them into a more competitive situation.