Thursday, September 12, 2013

City Council Approves Alpha Building Sale and Lease Agreement

By Christina Georgiou

Easton City Council officially authorized the sale of
the Alpha Building and agreed to lease back city
hall offices in the building Wednesday evening.
 Easton city council members unanimously officially approved selling the Alpha Building to developer Mark Mulligan for $4 million and leasing back the space city hall offices occupy in the building while the new city hall and transportation center is constructed on Wednesday evening.

The city will pay $13,750 per month to occupy its current offices on the second, third, fourth, and sixth floors of the building, along with some basement storage space.

Space currently used by the Easton Ambassadors and for storage of Heritage Day equipment on the mezzanine level of the Alpha Building will be vacated and both will move to space in the Weller Center building, which council also agreed to fund the purchase of via a $1 million grant on Wednesday night.

The basement storage space used by the city is "minimal" and takes up about two rooms, said City Administrator Glenn Steckmann, adding that most of the Alpha Building's basement had been leased to the Crayola Store, which has since vacated the building to move next door when the Crayola Experience museum expanded in May.

Councilman Roger Ruggles pointed out the basement space had not been included in the actual lease agreement, though Steckman assured him it was understood by both the city and Mulligan that the space is to be included in the deal.

City officials agreed to add the space to the lease agreement wording on the advice of city solicitor William Murphy before voting to approve the deal.

The sale of the Alpha Building is set to close at the end of November, and the city will begin renting the 27,500 square feet of space it occupies on December 1 for 19 months. City officials have estimated the new city hall offices should be complete and ready to move in to in the first half of 2015.

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