Mayor Rick Bosetti, a former professional baseball player, used a sports analogy while adding his support to the City Council’s Tuesday night decision to go with a new realtor for the Stillwater Business Park.
“Here’s a message you can take back to your manager,” Bosetti said to Cory Lawrence, an agent with the Cushman & Wakefield real estate firm. “Good teams change their managers from time to time.”
Cushman & Wakefield, an international firm, has been marketing the still-empty 700-acre business park for the past five and a half years. Although appreciative of the firm’s efforts, the council voted 5-0 to shift marketing duties to the Economic Development Corporation of Shasta County (EDC), which will in turn enlist the services of Voit Real Estate Services.
Voit is a regional firm with national and international connections and is particularly well-suited to marketing Stillwater, according to Mark Lascelles, the EDC’s president, who addressed the council in a pre-recorded video. (Lascelles was on a recruiting trip with Redding airports manager Rod Dinger, trying to lure a regional airline to Redding to provide service to Los Angeles.)
With its focus on California, Nevada and Arizona, Voit is more familiar with the western markets and the needs of businesses in California, said Lascelles, adding that Voit has a solid track record with clients in technology and education.
Michael Pohlmeyer, chair of the EDC, said the nonprofit organization was excited at the prospect of marketing Stillwater and working with Voit. “We’re hoping that you will look at this favorably,” he said. “The economy is turning around and this is all about jobs.”
Councilwoman Missy McArthur said she appreciated the hard work put in by John Troughton, Cushman & Wakefield’s principal agent for Stillwater, “but it’s time to make a change. If we can just get that one tenant in there and then the whole park will explode.”
Councilwoman Francie Sullivan credited Troughman with raising the city’s profile, but said she was “thrilled” to partner with the EDC and capitalize on the energy and resources of local residents like Lascelles.
Deputy City Manager Greg Clark, filling in for City Manager Kurt Starman who was recovering from injuries suffered in an off-road vehicle accident, said the city already has a $126,000 contract with the EDC for economic development services and that adding the Stillwater marketing responsibilities would not incur additional expenses.
Under terms of the agreement, Voit would earn a 10 percent commission on any Stillwater property sales.
In a related motion, the council voted 4-1, with Councilman Patrick Jones dissenting, to spend up to $20,000 on a new set of appraisals for the Stillwater lots. The last appraisals were conducted in 2008 during the depths of the recession, Clark said.
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at email@example.com.