The cost of the project has totaled more than $488,000; all that money came from a $500,000 Small Cities grant.
Commission member Eberhard Musiol said he understands how the business was able to find a lower price. “Certain towns are ahead of us because we’re just getting started here,” he said.
Chairman Robert Stewart said the town will find tenants for the building, and cannot afford to lower its price to compete with Bloomfield. “They have to make their business decision; we have to make ours,” he said.
“They’re looking for a cheaper way out,” he said of the business.
The 10,000-square-foot building is an attempt by the town to attract more business, and to revive the business park off Route 30 near Vernon. The building is designed to hold four tenants, but the commission remains flexible as to how many tenants actually will move in.
Commission members were told that one potential tenant decided instead to locate in Bloomfield. That business made the decision because it was offered a cheaper price for space.
Town Manager Timothy J. Tieperman said interest in renting space has tapered off the last two months. There had been a steady stream of telephone calls about the space, but many of those businesses were looking for immediate occupancy, he said.
Tieperman suggested an open house to give business owners a chance to see the building.
Commission members suggested mailing information to local businesses to gather interest. They also questioned if they should employ a real estate agent, or continue to market the building themselves. Stewart also said negotiations are ongoing, but moving slowly on the buyers’ side, to sell additional lots in the park.
Town officials hope the building will initiate more construction and buildings in the park. The town chose to build the “flex-space” building on the roughest lot in the park to demonstrate to prospective businesses that the park works. The lot required grading. Commission members also are considering a sign for the park at the entrance of Industrial Park Road West and Route 30. Stewart said the park’s lack of recognition is a problem.