RICHMOND, Ind. — A major player in the area’s economic development efforts just got some new digs.

The Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County recently moved into the long-vacant Pennsylvania train depot in Richmond’s historic Depot District, marking the start of a new chapter for the organization. The building at 900 N. E St. has been under renovations for about a year as the Better Homes and Gardens realty group prepares to occupy its second floor.

Valerie Shaffer, president of the EDC, said the move will allow the group to better serve those who enlist its services. The group was previously located in the Wayne Bank & Trust building at the corner of South Fifth, the same location it was in since starting in the 1990s.

“Being in the Depot District is a great opportunity for us to showcase some of the most unique aspects of our community to potential clients,” Shaffer said. “This move will really help bring some visibility not only to us, but to the Depot District as more and more companies look to invest in our area.”

The EDC’s new space is about 2,280 square feet, and sits on the west end of the building’s first floor. It’s about 150 feet smaller than the organization’s previous space. The group hopes the move will help it save about $13,500 over four years, which is the length of its new lease.

The group will pay $100 a month in cleaning fees from June to December of this year, with rent covered by building owner First Realty Group for the first seven months. After that, EDC will pay $2,800 a month through the end of 2020. First Realty Group will cover the costs of utilities, phones and internet in the rental agreement. Cleaning, which is not included in the rent, would up the rate to $2,900 per month.

Savings as a result of not having to pay rent for the first seven months of the term at the depot will allow the EDC to save up to $13,494.08, though First Realty Group is expected to charge a $3,200 down payment on the lease.

The EDC did not have to pay for the renovations — those were covered by the realty group as a term of the lease agreement — and does not have to pay the first six months of rent. The EDC was responsible for moving its existing furniture and other items to the new space. The EDC has its own entrance at the front of the building and will eventually have a second entrance through the depot’s grand hall.

The outer walls of the space are the original brick from the building’s train depot days, creating what Shaffer described as a mix between “rustic and modern” throughout the office area. Each of the organization’s four staff members have their own offices and there is a large conference room that can be used for board meetings and other events.

“(The brick) is a trend right now and it looks really good,” Shaffer said. “It’s something different for us, but we think it will really catch the eye of potential clients.”

Mark Brunton Jr., a partner and realtor at Better Homes and Gardens, said he is eager to have the group as a neighbor.

“They have done a lot for our community with the kinds of developments they’ve brought to the area,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing to have them involved in the Depot District. It creates a world of opportunities.”

Brunton said the realty group’s space is expected to be completed in early September, but is still seeking other businesses that could fill the opposite side of the first floor, also about 2,800 square feet, as well as the attached baggage building, which is several thousand square feet, as well. “We are really eager to have this building filled again,” he said. “We love to see local businesses take an active role in their community.”

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Source: (Richmond) Palladium-Item, http://pinews.co/2uPj9Zb


Information from: Palladium-Item, http://www.pal-item.com

This is an AP-Indiana Exchange story offered by the (Richmond) Paladium-Item.

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MICKEY SHUEY
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