If a formal lease arrangement is finalized between local property holders and a Massachusetts-based call centre this week, Stream International could be answering phones in the Brick building as soon as April 1.
And depending on how fast The Brick and Liquidation World can move out of their current location, Stream could begin pre-training of its first call centre staff here in a possible temporary location at Redwood Square next month. That would only be required if The Brick needed longer than two weeks to vacate their current site.
According to realtor Harry Backlin, the agent acting on behalf of the owners of The Brick building, the only thing holding the deal back now is a single contingency clause in long term lease arrangements between The Brick, Liquidation World, Stream and building owners.
“I have four lawyers involved in the formal lease document,” Mr. Backlin said on Friday. “We’ve resolved some of the issues but we still have one item to be concluded. I hope to do that today or Monday.”
It’s his understanding that Liquidation World has agreed to move to the old K-mart building on Third Avenue, The Brick is still looking to Safeway real estate people to takeover a building lease, and Stream has completed their negotiations in the form of a $5-million guaranteed loan with the city.
City Manager George Paul says the city is not expected to comment on their portion of the deal until all details of Stream’s arrival in Prince George is complete.
“We have had further conversations with them and we expect to discuss it in a closed session at city council Monday,” Mr. Paul says.
Stream spokesperson Jennifer Nadelson was not available for comment at press time.
Building owners have also agreed to put up $3.5 million renovations to the building and parkade interior and exterior, including new heating, lighting and ventilation. The money, in the form of a building improvement allowance, will then be repaid to the property owner along with monthly rent payments.
City Councillor Gord Leighton says the city is more likely to secure funding for infrastructure such as hardware, air conditioning, a computer network and server, power generators and back up. Stream will then bring their own office furniture, personal equipment.
“People have the expectation that the city is going to pay 100 per cent of the up front costs,” says Councillor Leighton. “That’s not true. I’m advised that typically the cost to set up a call centre is $12 to $15 million.”
Safeway spokesperson Toby Oswald says the store is still in the process of moving equipment out of its 30,000 square foot building on Massey Drive and has not finalized occupancy plans with at least two prospective tenants the company’s real estate people are negotiating.