Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Visitor center agreement firmed up

URA, Marketing Alliance discuss lease in anticipation of Nov. 11 opening

Express Staff Writer

With just a few weeks before the anticipated opening of a renovated visitor center, the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency and the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance reviewed details of a draft lease agreement at a URA meeting Monday.

"We're happy with what it says," said alliance board President Jake Peters.

The draft lease has a five-year term, with two five-year options for renewal. Base rent in the draft agreement is $1,000 per month, or $1 per square foot for 1,000 square feet of space.

"The staff draft lease recommends a lower lease rate per square foot than is being paid by the commercial tenant in recognition of the community benefits of the visitors center," reads a staff report.

"We operate as a public service, essentially," Peters said.

The URA, which owns the building, is leasing the other part of the building to the Cairde Group, which will operate a Starbucks franchise there.

Ketchum-based architect Susan Desko and other building professionals are donating their time to give the building an extensive facelift.

The visitor center had been operating in the former bank building at 491 Sun Valley Road until it was closed for renovation in early September. During reconstruction, a temporary visitor center has been set up at 640 N. Main St., next to the Clarion Inn. The tentative reopening date is Nov. 11.

On Monday, the lease agreement was a discussion item only. The URA may take action on the issue at its Nov. 7 meeting.

Rebecca Meany:

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