The UCHRA hopes to receive a $1 million TDOT grant to purchase a building it has leased for several years.
UCHRA Executive Director Mark Farley said purchasing the South Jefferson office complex would save the agency money.
“$1 million from TDOT would go towards purchasing the square footage that transportation is using,” Farley said. “Those programs would never pay rent again. In fact, if we rented out some of that office space, they would be able to generate revenue.”
The UCHRA pays $32,000 a month to lease the office space for its transportation programs. The building has an estimated purchase price of $5.5 million. Farley said the grant would reduce the financing price for completing the purchase.
“When we run that at 6-percent interest at 25 years, that created quite a cost savings to all of our programs,” Farley said. “Obviously, our debt payments would not be anywhere near what we’re paying in lease payments, so it makes it that much more affordable for us.”
In addition, Farley said having ownership of the building allows the UCHRA to control its own destiny.
“It allows us to do things to the building and modify it as we need to,” Farley said. “We also would be able to lease out what we don’t need. That becomes a revenue stream for the Human Resource Agency, sort of like what were doing with the old development district building. It looks like we’re leasing out at least a third of that building, set to start here soon.”
Farley said state officials have indicated that they like the agency’s grant application. If awarded the grant, the UCHRA Executive Committee would have to approve the purchase of the building.