LOCKPORT – The City of Lockport’s development agency met twice Thursday to give the green light to several aspects of the planned move of Trek Inc. from Medina to the former Harrison Radiator plant at Walnut and Washburn streets.
In a morning meeting, the Greater Lockport Development Corp. board gave city leaders the go-ahead to negotiate a lease with the electronic instrument company, which is highly interested in moving its entire operation to Building 4 in what is now called Harrison Place.
Trek’s research and development department moved to Lockport’s Canal Street last year and would stay put.
City Planning and Development Director R. Charles Bell said the Harrison Place lease isn’t complete.
The city is counting on Trek paying enough in the 10-year lease to cover the costs of the bank loan the GLDC will have to take out to pay for the $4 million renovation of the 96,000-square-foot, three-story unheated Building 4 before it’s turned over to Trek.
Bell said the GLDC board has yet to approve the terms of the loan, which is expected to come from Five Star Bank.
But it did approve the use of $250,000 of the development agency’s own money toward the renovation project.
Harry Sicherman, the city’s economic development consultant, said it’s unclear if the loan will be ready for approval at next Thursday’s regular GLDC meeting.
Bell said the city also has applied for a $500,000 state grant for the work, with an announcement of whether that was approved expected to come next week.
And if the grant isn’t approved?
“We’ll be scrambling,” Bell said.
The GLDC board reconvened Thursday evening to approve a contract with David R. Chamberlain of Lockport to be the construction contractor on the Building 4 job, but the financial terms of that agreement aren’t finalized yet, either.
Chamberlain’s job will include asbestos investigation and removal, as well as any interior demolition that may be required.
Trek has outgrown its Salt Works Road plant and aims to move 72 office and production jobs to Harrison Place. It expects to add 24 more jobs within three years. The company already has 23 workers in its research center on Canal Street.
The company had considered relocating elsewhere, but Lockport seems to be its first choice.