A co-working facility, one of multiple projects identified in Lake Havasu City’s Vision 2020 plan, continues to move forward despite slowed progress during a pandemic and a reimagining of the original plans.
In March, Partnership for Economic Development closed on a piece of property located at 2121 McCulloch Boulevard. The property, which sits next to Sanchez-Hawkins Jewelry and Springberg McAndrew Park, cost the PED $298,000.
The facility is expected to house 29 companies and almost 50 employees.
F106, a functioning co-work space on London Bridge Road, is serving as a test run for how it would work.
Now, the co-working project is being priced out “piece by piece,” PED Director James Gray said. In order to nail down estimations for the costs involved, the PED has been gathering quotes.
“It’s not the same as competitive pricing when you have construction drawings and you open bids on a project, but at the same time, we’re also getting a pretty settled feeling on where this building is going to go,” Gray said.
They’re still working on finalizing all construction drawings, which Gray hopes to have submitted to the city by August. The 60-day turnaround after submitting plans will give the PED time to reconfirm all of their estimates, Gray said.
Of the $2 million in prize money that the city was awarded during the America’s Best Communities competition, $400,000 was set aside for this project. The total estimated price for the project is currently $1,857,000.
“Even though we are slowly arriving at a higher number, we are still in an incredibly good position to be at our original goal of paying for this thing 100 percent cash,” Gray said. “It’s a really huge endeavor for a half a million dollar organization to be building for cash a property like that.”
Furnishing the building was originally estimated at $175,000, but the PED has brought that number down to $107,000 at the moment. They’ll be “reutilizing quite a few things from F106” for the new space, Gray said, but it will be easier to work on furnishing details once construction is officially underway.
During a recent PED meeting, Gray identified a few possible revenue opportunities, some more hopeful than others.
“This project has $82,000 worth of sales tax on it,” Gray said. “If we can eliminate that, we would be good again. But that’s not looking all that great. I think ultimately, even though we’re a 501c3, we have to pay taxes.”
PED has also applied for a $50,000 grant that they’re hoping to get in order to even out costs. They’re also hoping to have their PPP loan of $52,732.50 forgiven, adding to revenue available for project use.
Gray also said he spoke with Charlie Cassens, who’s heading up another Vision 2020 project – the Environmental Learning Center.
“I basically asked him if he was willing to give any of their funds towards our project, knowing ultimately where their project is going,” Gray said. “They said they were not. They said they wanted to finish. I feel it’s not really fiscally responsible, but that’s not my decision.”
Now, Gray’s hoping they can meet with the executive team of Vision 2020 to ask for the remaining $76,000 in the fund that was intended for celebrating each finished project, instead putting it towards the co-working facility.
“It’s personally and professionally important to me to have a groundbreaking for all the stuff that we said we were going to do on at least one project, and hopefully we can get the co-work space going in downtown,” Gray said. “It’s going to be a big boost for downtown.”