The Union Recorder

Local News

December 4, 2013

Development Authority moves Shaw Building lease onward

MILLEDGEVILLE —

The Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County held its final 2013 meeting at the Baldwin County Airport Tuesday.

In addition to saying an official goodbye to Chair Dr. Jo Ann Jones and secretary Annette Ford for their long authority service, the board passed several motions involving the Shaw Building lease, county corridor improvement plans and a shared full-time employee with the Chamber of Commerce.

• Shaw Building lease action approved

Milledgeville Mayor Richard Bentley and David Sinclair, acting chairman of Solar Zones, LLC., signed a Memorandum of Understanding to put the vacant Shaw Building back to work as the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Communiversity (MBC) in early October. 

A communiversity is a community-based public-private partnership that encourages community learning, entrepreneurism and economic development. 

After nearly four months of negotiations, the city agreed to lease-purchase the 93,000 square foot building to Solar Zones by way of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority for $450,000 because the city can't legally lease the building.

The authority settled initial questions about the MOU and sublease agreement before unanimously approving it Tuesday.

Development Authority Executive Director Matt Poyner said the authority bears no liability, but instead will simply act as a conduit for the transaction.

“We'll lease the building from the city and then will sublease from us to Solar Zones,” Poyner said.

If the tenant defaulted for any reason, the building and any leans or debt go back to the city.

“We are just a landlord,” attorney George Carpenter Jr. said.

Poyner said Solar Zones would supply a quarterly capital investment summary to the authority and the city. Dollar points go toward the purchase price as improvements are made. 

“The improvements to the property basically constitute the rent,” Carpenter said.

The lease runs for two years.

Neither the city nor Solar Zones have signed off on the new agreement yet.

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