No vacancy at Snow Building

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The first organization to move into the city’s downtown professional building will also be the last one to move into its first floor.

Dowagiac City Council voted to approve a lease agreement with the Van Buren/Cass Health Department for office space on the lower portion of the James E. Snow Professional Building during their meeting Monday night at city hall. Per the terms of the deal, the area health department, which already occupies the entirety of the second-floor with its dental clinic offices, will occupy just over 2,400 square feet on the first-floor of the complex.

Other terms and conditions are:

• The lease rate will be $14.25 per square feet

• The length of the lease will be 18.5 years, so that the end date of the lease coincides with their second floor lease

• The lease will generate $34,328 per year and just over $635,000 for the term of the lease

Like with other the other tenants moving into the space, the city will build walls and other needs in the space for the department’s eventual move, using $144,000 worth of funding that will be recouped over the term of the lease, said City Manager Kevin Anderson.

With two other businesses all slated to move in, the first floor is now completely filled, checking off a goal that city officials have worked toward since the opening of the building, Anderson said.

“Just slightly after a year from opening we’ll have all the space leased out,” he said.

With the health department having occupied the second floor since the Snow Building’s opening in the fall of 2014, its expansion into the first floor will offer the organization additional office space to provide additional services to the greater Dowagiac community.

The health department is the third tenant to move into the lower section of the two-story building, located at the corner of Front and Main streets downtown. Last year, the city signed agreements with St. Joseph’s Advanced Dermatology for 1,830 square feet of space on the south end of the building and with Mishawaka-based law firm May, Oberbell, Lorber for around 800 square feet of space.

According to the city manager, the combined leases for the dermatogly office ($210,000 over the next six years), the attorney’s office ($65,336 over the next five years) and health department are slated to generate over $910,000 in revenue for the city.

“I think we’ve got a real nice mix of tenants,” Anderson said. “When you look at it, we’ve got medical, we’ve got legal and we’ve got community health services — all really good services that are needed for the community. We’re happy to have those services as well as leases that pay for the expenses we have been occurring on it [the building].”