With interest expressed from firms in Wapakoneta’s 471-acre Job Ready Sites (JRS) manufacturing site, Wapakoneta City Council elected to continue with a two-year agreement with CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest real estate company.
Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council (WAEDC) Executive Director Greg Myers explained the terms of the existing contract and additional information his board member would like from the commercial realtor. Myers wanted to know if councilors wanted to continue with the second year of a two-year deal.
The city could opt out after the first year. The city pays $42,000 annually for CB Richard Ellis to represent the site, with the total amount deducted from their commission when land is sold.
“I have no qualms with recommending that we renew for a second year,” Councilor-at-large Thomas Finkelmeier Jr said during Monday’s council meeting. “These last two projects, in particular, are rather sophisticated, world-class projects — that as much I would like to think that we have all the talent we need here — we don’t and as Greg can attest CB Richard Ellis has done a phenomenal job.
“I think we would be short-sighted with the amount of investment we have made in this site, the amount the state of Ohio has made in this site and the amount of time and money we have put into this site — to cut off funding and the relationship at this time,” the councilor said. “It would be a grave error.”
Executives with two firms have inquired and are working with CB Richard Ellis representatives regarding property in the West Central Ohio Industrial Center.
Councilor-at-large Wilbur Wells inquired about a possible conflict of interest if CB Richard Ellis represented competing municipalities. Myers informed Wells and council members that Wapakoneta is the only municipality that he knows that they represent at this time.
“It is good that Wapak has positioned itself in this unique position — this should work out very well for us,” Wells said.
Myers agreed saying “we are blazing a trail with this relationship.”
Wells also questioned Myers on the incentive packages CB Richard Ellis representatives are reviewing for the city. Myers said they analyze the city’s, state’s and other incentive packages available for a prospective business, but Myers wants them to review the city’s incentives to see if there is more that can be done.
Wapakoneta 1st Ward Councilor Jim Neumeier asked city administrators where the funds were coming from to pay for the contract. Safety-Service Director Bill Rains said he believed 50 percent came from the Electric Fund and 25 percent each from the Water Fund and the Wastewater, or Sewer, Fund.
Myers addressed councilors to tell them WAEDC board members have reviewed the contract and have negotiated some additional terms regarding information provided by CB Richard Ellis to the board.
“We suggested we beef up some of the specific areas where CB Richard Ellis can provide us with marketing research and outreach,” Myers said, noting it includes a stronger relationship with their site sales representatives and providing them an opportunity to meet with incentive representatives. “We are very pleased with their activities in the past four months.
“We are competing with the likes Columbus 2020, Cincinnati USA and Cleveland economic office as well as others across the country and our CB Richard Ellis relationship allows us to be contenders with those much larger, much better funded organizations in terms of research and our ability to respond to client needs.”