Town of Victoria, IDA to review lease for public works shop

Published 2:21 am Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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VICTORIA – The Victoria Town Council voted last week to review a lease agreement between the town and Victoria’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA). The deal would relocate the public works shop in the Town of Victoria to the former STEPS building, bringing life to a building that has been empty for more than two years. 

During the October Town Council meeting, Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton brought up the idea of using a portion of the STEPS building as the shop and leasing it from the IDA for a cost of $26,000 a year. 

Councilmember Dr. Ronald Mattox asked if the STEPS building were to be sold in the future, where what would happen to the public works shop. 

According to Newton, the IDA has voted that the building will be subdivided and will have multi-tenants that the IDA will maintain.

According to IDA Chairman Mike Walker, the IDA is looking at devoting 15,000 square feet to the town for use of the public works shop. The remaining building is divided to make space for approximately four tenants with a  maximum of 25,000 square feet.

Since STEPS left the building, there have been many repairs that the IDA has undertaken in an effort to get the building ready for tenets or sale. 

Just a few months ago, an out-of-state company that was interested in purchasing the STEPS building pulled out of a deal with the IDA.

‘Slated to be torn down’

During the October Victoria Town Council, Newton told members that if funds had not been invested into the STEPS building, it would have been slated to be torn down.

According to town officials, the IDA has invested approximately $235,000 for a new roof. And they are continuing with repairs to include new windows in the front of the building, filling in the pit in the production area floor and installing new lights in the area.

The total anticipated investment is scheduled to be around $300,000 to $325,000.

Last year, the IDA was working to secure a grant to help repair a former manufacturing building. Sadly, that grant was turned down in December.

Despite being overlooked for the Local Innovation Fund grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the IDA began work on the former STEPS building located at 300 Court St., on the western edge of town.

In a deal negotiated with the Lunenburg County IDA, the Town of Victoria IDA took possession of the former manufacturing facility early in 2021.

STEPS discontinued using the facility more than two years ago.

Before STEPS, the building initially housed Diemolding Corporation and Southern Virginia Plastics, both of which manufactured plastic components of cookware.