By Taylor Short
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - The Economic Development Corp. will soon begin work on an online real estate database for businesses interested in moving to the city.
The board of directors approved an agreement Thursday with contractor Jim Aanstoos not to exceed $7,500 "plus reasonable expenses" to develop content describing properties - empty land or building space in the city - that could be re-purposed.
"This could help us market these properties more effectively with information that we don't have right now," said Marketing Director Monica Hull.
The database would be available on the EDC's website and would include square footage, owner contacts, pricing, leasing, front linear footage, traffic counts, addresses, photos and other information.
Executive Director Polo Enriquez said the database would allow the EDC to be able to focus on business attraction and retention at a level not available at this time.
"Every (EDC) website that you go to has some semblance of what we want to accomplish with this, but we want to go a step up to include information that is not always available on these websites," Enriquez said.
Chairman Dan Yancey said the EDC has attempted to develop a database like this in the past few years and it can get "quite labor intensive." Without adequate staff to do it, Enriquez suggested outsourcing the work.
Aanstoos said he would be able to develop the database to track properties in transition that could be put to a better use. The board also plans to work with the city engineer to obtain information and maps of each zoned commercial property.
Members questioned how much work would be needed to collect and maintain the information on each property. Enriquez said that it is typically done through personal phone calls with the owners.
"We've focused on the main commercial corridor and have looked into where the most activity would be," Enriquez said. "There is a lot of work to go into this, including some shoe leather."
The funding is available in the EDC's 2010-11 budget under business attraction and consultation.
The contract states that the EDC will pay $25 per hour for a maximum of 300 hours, and the work should be completed 120 days after the agreement is executed.
"It's extremely important to us to know exactly what's out there," said Chairman Dan Yancey.
"That is an area where we've been lacking."
Contact Taylor Short at email@example.com or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.