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EDC seeks lease on behalf of unnamed company

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According to city and business officials, a prospective new tenant for this Roswell Air Center building would invest about $1.5 million in it during the next year. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Roswell is preparing for the expansion of or entry of a new company involved in food processing, as lease discussions with a city committee have indicated.

The Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. is asking to lease a building at the Roswell Air Center for free on behalf of a company that wants its proprietary information to remain confidential for the time being.

City documents presented to the Roswell City Council Legal Committee Thursday indicate that the company intends to renovate Building 93 at 1 Earl Cummings Loop into a “commercial food-grade processing facility, with cold food distribution and laboratory operations.”

No rent would be paid during the one-year term, which would begin June 1.

But, according to city and EDC staff, the value of the renovations are expected to meet or exceed the market rate for rent for that period.

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“This is very confidential, so we are following their request and keeping it confidential,” said Melissa Juarez, project manager with the EDC. “It is going to be a big economic impact, a positive impact, on the city.”

She said the company expects to invest $1.5 million in the building renovations and upgrades and that it plans to hire 20 to 30 people to work at the facility. She added that once the company takes over the lease for the 36,875-square-foot building, it will be for a long term.

Juarez later said that she expects the identification of the company should occur soon and certainly before the renovations are completed.

An existing tenant at Building 93 that has been renting on a month-to-month basis has been given notice and will remove its items from the premises, City Manager Joe Neeb said.

At his suggestion, committee members present — Judy Stubbs, Barry Foster and Jason Perry — voted unanimously without making any recommendation regarding the lease to forward the item to the entire City Council for consideration at its May meeting.

Neeb said he expects that the City Council will discuss the lease in a closed session before making any decisions.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.