COPPERAS COVE — Board members of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation agreed to lease the city’s former offices at 207 S. Third St., before it becomes an entrepreneur center.
“It is the same agreement the city had,” said Polo Enriquez, the corporation’s executive director.
The estimated 2,300-square-foot facility cost the city $2,500 per month, which the Cove EDC will pay the landlord, Donlie McMullin Realty. City officials vacated the building after nine months of use in March after purchasing a structure on South Main Street.
Timing for renting the building couldn’t be better, Enriquez said.
Renovations to enhance the corporation’s main offices, 210 S. First St., are likely to begin in the next couple of months. A bid for the project will be selected Aug. 29 by board members. Since the renovations will be extensive, staff cannot occupy the space until construction is finished.
Staff will start moving after Labor Day, Enriquez said. “We intend to totally vacate this building to allow the construction to take place by the end of September or early October.”
Architects anticipate renovations will take three or four months.
After returning to First Street, the rented facility on Third Street will become a business incubator or entrepreneur center, according to the corporation.
The center will serve as a site where small-, startup business owners can rent a space and have access to shared resources, such as copiers, and professional services, such as accountants.
“A lot of your startup businesses can’t afford to go into a one-year lease, a three-year lease or a five-year lease with all the overhead,” Diane Drussell, the corporation’s business retention specialist, said in May. “This allows them to get into a location and go through all the different steps of having a business. This is giving them a real-life experience at a lower cost.”
The opening of the incubator is dependent on the Copperas Cove City Council approving the Cove EDC’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.