More than a year and a half after agreeing to buy the Ametek manufacturing site on Lake Street, the city of Kent approved a lease allowing the company to continue using the site for another year.
Kent City Council, which agreed to enter into a purchase agreement for the 14-acre site at 627 Lake Street in April 2011, acted Wednesday to approve a one-year lease of 10,000-square-feet of the property to Ametek beginning in January, so the electromechanical manufacturer can continue to use the facility for testing purposes. Ametek will be leasing the space for $1, but the company will pay for other costs associated with the building.
Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said Ametek needed access to the building because the firms' move to a new laboratory testing site, the old Furon building on Middlebury Road, has been delayed due to electrical work. He said he recommended the lease because Ametek, which moved into new offices on Erie Street in downtown Kent in September, has been a good partner in the downtown redevelopment and would pay taxes and costs associated with the Lake Street sites while they occupied it.
"They're paying the cost of running the boilers," he said. "They're paying for the upkeep. They're paying the property taxes."
The city purchased the 288,000-square-foot building and adjacent property for $106,000 as part of the deal to convince Ametek to continue operations in Kent on the top two floors a building constructed by Cleveland's Fairmount Properties as part of the city's downtown redevelopment process.
The city intended to seek grant funding to pay for environmental remediation at the site and then lease the space to one or more businesses.
In May, the city received $1 million in funding through the state's Clean Ohio program for the site.
In an Oct. 31 letter to council, Kent Law Director Jim Silver wrote that the deal "makes sense" because the city currently has no prospective tenants for the 10,000-square-feet of laboratory space Ametek wants to use.
Dan Smith, the city's economic development director, said the city officials will continue discussions with "a bunch of different people who have an interest in (using) that building."