Randall optimistic about 1010 Central

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Downtown > Development project is 65 percent committed

As the municipal building was nearing completion in November, 2011, Los Alamos County issued a Request for Proposals for a commercial development on the municipal complex site at 1010 Central Avenue.

The Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC) spearheaded a group of local businesses interested in developing the site. Their proposal was chosen as the preferred option early in 2012.

Councilor Rick Reiss questioned the viability of the project at a recent council meeting. But LACDC Executive Director Scott Randall is confident the development will move forward soon.

A key attraction of the proposed 30,000-square-foot project is that businesses will own rather than lease their space.

“Business owners like the idea of being in control of their own destiny and owning their own space,” Randall said. “It provides tax benefits and their space will be designed to their specific needs. They can design to their specifications from the ground up.”

Randall said the “condominium” concept has other attractions, such as the fact that the business owners themselves, as members of the condo association, will determine such things as how the premises are maintained and landscaped.

According to Randall, the proposed development is 65 percent committed.

“Of the 30,000 square feet, I have commitments from five entities to take 20,000 square feet, so I have 65 percent commitment,” Randall said. “We want to get to 80 percent–that’s another 4,000 square feet–before proceeding.”

Those committed to the space are all local business owners.

“We’ve got a physician, an accountant, a restaurant and an athletics venue,” Randall said. “Plus the Chamber Los Alamos Visitor Center and LACDC offices will move in there as well.”

LACDC’s 1,500-square-foot Small Business Center will remain at its present location at 190 Central Park Square.

The new development has 3,000 square feet of uncommitted space on the ground floor and 7,000 square feet remaining on the second floor, priced at $213.50 per square foot.

“While we are a developer, there is no markup or profit motive,” Randall said. “The owners’ cost is the cost of the development, based on their share of the space.”

One concern prospective owners have voiced is whether the available parking is sufficient.

Randall noted there are 141 spaces available, but the prevalence of county vehicles in the lot gives it the appearance of being saturated.

“The county is working with us on this, and ultimately, those will be parked elsewhere,” Randall said. “Signs are up, but since there is no structure at 1010 yet, it’s not enforced.”

Randall spelled out the next steps of the project.

“I’m looking up those who have made commitments and those who have said they’re interested, and we’re trying to get those who have committed to put down a small deposit.

“Next we’ll draw up purchase contracts, and ask owners to commit 20 percent down.

“Then we’ll be marketing to others to get to at least an 80-percent threshold that says let’s proceed.
“Once we reach that stage we estimate it will take 60 weeks to design and build. We’ll need to break ground, invest in the final plans and go through the P and Z process. There could be some unforeseen delays, but it’s a very achievable process.”

LACDC already has two commitments for construction financing.

Randall plans to hold a meeting in the near future for those who have committed to the project as well as other business owners that have expressed interest.

For more information, contact LACDC at 662-0001 or losalamosdevelopment.com.