Supervisors buy BRIC building, praise city manager
Carson City’s Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to buy a downtown office building and extended into 2014 the chance to help Carson Mall secure a major tenant.Supervisors also reviewed the work of City Manager Larry Werner, praising him and setting Feb. 28 as the date to set goals for him to reach before his next performance evaluation in a year. Mayor Robert Crowell said Werner was to be commended, but warned things won’t get easier.“It’s been a pleasure,” said Werner, then moved on moments later to explain his recommended purchase, for more than $1.1 million, of the Business Resource Innovation Center building at 108 E. Proctor St.“The building is serving our purpose very well,” he said. He said cost and debt service, via a general obligation bond, would be about $1.3 million and be cheaper than continuing to rent the structure just north of city hall. Monthly rental after July 1 would rise 3 percent to $9,372. “Larry, you’re right in my opinion,” said Supervisor Brad Bonkowski, a commercial real estate agent in his day job. “I support this 100 percent.”The city leased the building from Fireside Investments LLC, an out-of-state firm, in recent years. It had an option to buy in the lease agreement. The option ends July 1, which is when the rent increases.Supervisors, acting first as the Redevelopment Authority and then as the board, extended until the end of 2014 the window of opportunity for the Carrington Co., owner of Carson Mall, to take advantage of a tax reimbursement policy available to help secure a major tenant.Carrington sought extension because the existing deadline for occupancy of the mall’s main space was the end of this year, but city officials and a Carrington representative said it may take until next year to get everything done with an unnamed prospective tenant.“We have a signed a (letter of intent),” said Joanne Holmes of Carrington, “but I still don’t have a signed lease” with the tenant’s company officials.She said structural problems are “elevating their budget” and executives of the prospective tenant’s company must meet again to determine courses of action.Holmes also indicated the buildout would cost the tenant $1.5 million, Carrington Co., an additional $500,000, but she was optimistic a deal will come about.“The way things are going right now,” she said, “they want Carson and we want them.”Supervisors provided some flexibility, amending the extension language to allow for the tax reimbursement aspect to work in a decade-long or 15-year long agreement. The tax reimbursement equals 50 percent of sales tax receipts. In other action, the board extended for two years the period for A-frame or banner business signs, but urged close scrutiny by code enforcement to keep temporary signs within bounds, and included review of the policy in a year.