The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board approved relocating the group’s office Monday to the future Lebanon Municipal Airport terminal building next year.
The new terminal, expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2017, would be two stories and feature a large reception area, operator’s office, airport commission room, quiet rooms for pilots, conference rooms designed to hold public or private meetings and at least three offices.
The terms of the proposal include a $33,500 annual lease for the group to exclusively occupy 1,508 square feet of the 9,600-square-foot building for five years. The group would control and schedule use of the conference room, break room and patio.
Utility costs would be included in the lease cost, and the group would provide janitorial services.
“We’ve been discussing for a number of years the potential of relocating this office. The executive committee sees the potential need to add future personnel to concentrate on retail development,” said JECDB treasurer Phil Smartt.
Smartt said the group’s current lease at retail space on North Castle Heights Avenue expires in September 2017, and a 90-day notice must be given to building owners. The building is also under new ownership, and Smartt said the group could not predict future lease rates.
Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said the move would be an advantage to have Joint Economic and Community Development director G.C. Hixson and assistant director Tammy Stokes at one of the city’s gateways.
The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board is a governmental economic development agency focused on industrial, office, retail and business recruitment to the area.
“Wilson County has an asset in a really active regional airport. A lot of corporate planes go in and out of the Lebanon Regional Airport. We feel like this move would put us into a neutral facility. It also puts us on the front door of the corporate entity coming into Wilson County,” Smartt said.
Smartt said the slight increase from the body’s current lease rate wouldn’t have a significant impact on any of the group’s funding entities.
“The executive committee has reviewed this, and we’ve discussed it through about three meetings and have really been discussing it for about two years to do this. With the improved facility and meeting space we’ll have, we think it’s well worth the dollars,” he said.