Chamber’s negotiations keep CivicPlus in Manhattan

By The Mercury

The head of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce updated county commissioners on the Chamber’s newest economic development project at Thursday’s meeting.

Lyle Butler, president and CEO of the Chamber, briefly reviewed the Chamber’s work with CivicPlus, a local technology firm that designs and builds websites for local governments. It was an overview of more detailed presentation the Manhattan City Commission received last week.

Butler said the Chamber had been working with CivicPlus for about year, keeping them in the community and working to facilitate expansion.

“Sometimes we take for granted the businesses and industries in our own community,” Butler said.

Butler noted that CivicPlus was being recruited by other companies, but the Chamber worked to develop an economic development package to keep the firm in the community.

The incentives would include a $750,000 forgivable loan, an option to issue up to $20 million in industrial revenue bonds and a 10-year tax abatement worth $2.24 million across all taxing jurisdictions.

The incentives will go toward a new multi-story 50,000 square-foot office building at the corner of 4th and Pierre streets, where the Manhattan Appliance and Sleep Source store currently sits. The first floor is envisioned to be retail and restaurant space, while the remaining floors will be high-end CivicPlus offices. There will also be an option to add apartments. Butler said construction on the building is expected to start in the first quarter of 2013.

CivicPlus officials have said the building will aid the firm in recruiting talent and assist the company’s growth. Butler said it also shows a commitment to downtown redevelopment.

Commissioner Karen McCulloh asked Butler where people would park, given the anticipated growth.

Butler said the mall parking lot currently provides overflow parking and added that city officials are actively working to manage parking issues in downtown.

“Everybody is very aware of it,” Butler said.

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