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Published: Friday, 12/28/2012

Sylvania council OKs tenant, plans renovations

BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

An advertising and marketing firm that works primarily with building-materials companies plans to move from downtown Toledo into Sylvania’s Maplewood Marketplace building in the spring.

During a special meeting Thursday, Sylvania City Council unanimously approved a 10-year lease with Interrupt LLC, which operates as Interrupt Marketing, for about 6,500 square feet in the city-owned building at Main Street and Maplewood Avenue.

Interrupt, expected to move in during April, will pay $13.50 per square foot, or about $87,750 annually, for the lease.

As part of the deal, the city has agreed to split the $558,523 cost of a renovation project in the building with the company — a project for which council approved a construction contract — and awarded Interrupt a jobs-creation grant that will rebate one-third of its workers’ payroll taxes from 2014 through 2018.

Bill Rossiter, Interrupt’s chief executive officer, told council his firm works with “Fortune 500 companies across America, and some globally.”

“Our clients really see us as their second hand, their business partner,” he said while describing the business to council.

A Sylvania resident who has lived in the area for more than 18 years, Mr. Rossiter said he was interested in moving his business to the city to give it room to grow.

“We’ve grown over the last five years,” he said. “We grew over 30 percent.... I'm excited to be part of the city.”

Much of the space to be occupied by Interrupt is in the former service bays of an auto dealership that the city converted into Maplewood Marketplace after buying the building several decades ago, Bill Sanford, Sylvania’s economic development and administrative services coordinator, said after the meeting.

Ovens used by a glass-blowing studio until about a year ago kept that part of the building warm, but to make it suitable for offices it needs a more traditional heating system, Mr. Sanford said. That will be part of the renovations, and the project also will feature adding a new mezzanine level in the high-ceilinged area, with about 600 feet of floor space.

Council awarded the renovation contract to the Paul Avery Co. Inc. of Sylvania Township, which submitted the lowest of 14 bids for the work.

Interrupt also will occupy space now used by Body Defined, a yoga and fitness club that had been on a month-to-month lease, Mr. Sanford said, and has first dibs on adjacent empty space in the building should it seek to expand.

Body Defined was notified last month of its lease’s impending termination and “we’re working with them to help them relocate,” he said.

Mayor Craig Stough said the Historical Village Commission, which oversees the building, will finance the city’s half of the renovation costs from its savings. Lease payments are expected to offset the renovations’ cost within about seven years.

Interrupt will bring with it a staff of 20 and a payroll of about $1 million. Under the job-development grant, Mr. Sanford said, the city will rebate one-third of the company’s payments of the 1.5 percent payroll tax for the first five full calendar years it is in business in Sylvania.

Contact Kelly McLendon at: kmclendon@theblade.com or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter @MyTownSylvania.



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